Well, this is awkward.

Susie Q

Following a very chaotic two weeks, we're still none the wiser as to exactly why OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was sacked. Among theories circulating online, though, was news of a secretive and powerful new AI model at the company, dubbed Q* and pronounced "Q star," which insiders may have wanted to keep from the public until the tech was more fully understood.

And though the name may raise some eyebrows given its secretive nature and the prominence of the deranged "QAnon" conspiracy theory, which is often shortened to just "Q" — to be clear, the two obviously have no actual relationship — OpenAI may have just been beaten to the punch when it comes to that particular branding opportunity.

Why? Because Amazon's cloud computing division just announced a new AI chatbot aimed at businesses — called Amazon Q.

"We think Q has the potential to become a work companion for millions and millions of people in their work life," Adam Selipsky, the chief executive of Amazon Web Services, told the New York Times.

Queued Up

The latest tool isn't meant to take on the likes of OpenAI's ChatGPT, and will compete with Microsoft's AI developer assistant called Copilot instead.

With its announcement, Amazon is also trying to leave behind the perception that the company has been struggling to keep up in a rapidly changing AI industry landscape.

But as far as its abbreviated name is concerned, it's unlikely Amazon was trying to step on OpenAI's toes. Selipsky told the NYT that Q is a play on the word "question" and a nod to the fictional "Star Trek" character of the same name.

Now that Amazon has beaten OpenAI to the market with a "Q"-branded product, it remains to be seen whether Altman's venture will have to refresh its marketing materials.

Besides, Q* doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

More on Q*: OpenAI's Chaos Linked to Super Powerful New AI It Secretly Built

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