Home Blog OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever says he will leave the startup

OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever says he will leave the startup


Ilya Sutskever, a co-founder of OpenAI, announced his departure from the Microsoft-backed company on Tuesday.

In an X post on Tuesday, Sutskever stated, “I am excited for what comes next— a project that is very personally meaningful to me about which I will share details in due time.”

Sam Altman, the CEO and co-founder of OpenAI, experienced a leadership crisis months before to his resignation.

According to a statement released by OpenAI’s board in November, Altman had not been “consistently candid in his communications with the board.” The problem soon began to appear more complicated. Sutskever focused his attention on making sure artificial intelligence wouldn’t damage people, according to the Wall Street Journal and other media sites, while others, like Altman, were more anxious to move forward with providing new technologies.

In an open letter, nearly every employee of OpenAI declared their intention to quit in opposition to the board’s decision. A few days later, board members Sutskever, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner—who had voted to remove Altman—were no longer on the company’s board. Adam D’Angelo remained on the board despite having voted to remove Altman as well.

During a Zoom call with reporters at the time, Altman was asked about Sutskever’s whereabouts and responded that he had no updates to provide. “I adore Ilya.” For the remainder of our careers—mine included—I hope we collaborate,” Altman remarked. “There’s nothing new to share today.”

Altman discussed his feelings over Sutskever’s exit on Tuesday.

Ilya is unquestionably one of the brightest brains of our time, a pioneer in our industry, and a close friend. This makes me extremely sad, Altman said on X. “His warmth and compassion are less well known but no less important than his brilliance and vision.” Sutskever will be replaced as head scientist by research director Jakub Pachocki, who joined OpenAI in 2017, according to Altman.

Bret Taylor, the former co-CEO of Salesforce, and Larry Summers, the former Treasury Secretary, are among the new board members revealed by OpenAI. Microsoft was granted a non-voting observer position on the board.

The new board of OpenAI and the conclusion of an internal inquiry by American law firm WilmerHale into the circumstances surrounding Altman’s dismissal were both disclosed in March. Three new board members were revealed along with Altman’s return to OpenAI: Fidji Simo, CEO and chair of Instacart; Nicole Seligman, former EVP and global general counsel of Sony and president of Sony Entertainment; and Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to a business statement from March, the three new members would “work closely with current board members Adam D’Angelo, Larry Summers, and Bret Taylor as well as Greg, Sam, and OpenAI’s senior management,” referring to Greg Brockman, the co-founder of OpenAI.

The news of Sutskever’s resignation was revealed one day after OpenAI, in an attempt to increase the usage of its well-liked chatbot, released an updated desktop version of ChatGPT and a new AI model.

The GPT-4 model is now available to all users, even those who use OpenAI for free, according to a livestreamed event on Monday by technology leader Mira Murati. She went on to say that the GPT-4o, the new model, is “much faster” and has better text, video, and audio capabilities.

OpenAI stated that it eventually intends to enable video communication between users and ChatGPT. In terms of usability, Murati stated, “This is the first time that we are really making a huge step forward.”

According to a complaint Musk filed against OpenAI in March, Sutskever was a research scientist at Google in 2015 when Altman and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, another OpenAI co-founder, wanted him to become the company’s chief scientist.

In the end, a call from Mr. Musk the day OpenAI, Inc. was made public persuaded Dr. Sutskever to commit to joining the project as OpenAI, Inc.’s Chief Scientist. Dr. Sutskever had debated whether to quit Google and join the initiative, according to the legal document.

Along with Sutskever, Jan Leike was a co-leader of OpenAI’s Superalignment team. He announced his departure from the startup on X on Tuesday.

The group has been pursuing “scientific and technological breakthroughs to steer and control AI systems much smarter than us” since it was revealed last year. Over the course of four years, 20% of OpenAI’s processing capacity was dedicated to the project.



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