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Why Did OpenAI's Co-Founder Ilya Sutskever Decide to Leave?

ilya sutskever

OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the company, a Microsoft-backed startup. Sutskever expressed excitement about his plans, which he will reveal in due time, in a post on the social media platform X.

This departure follows a period of leadership turmoil at OpenAI, particularly concerning another co-founder and CEO, Sam Altman. Last November, there were concerns about Altman not being fully transparent with OpenAI's board. Media reports indicated that while Sutskever was focused on ensuring AI's safety for humans, Altman and others were more focused on advancing new technologies.

After a major conflict where almost all OpenAI employees threatened to resign over the board's decisions, Altman was reinstated, and board members who opposed him, including Sutskever, left their positions. At that time, Altman expressed his hope to continue working with Sutskever.

On Sutskever's departure, Altman shared his sadness, praising Sutskever as a brilliant and compassionate mind. Jakub Pachocki, who joined OpenAI in 2017, will take over as chief scientist.

Additionally, OpenAI recently announced new board members, including former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Microsoft also gained a nonvoting observer role on the board.

In March, OpenAI introduced its new board and concluded an internal investigation into the events around Altman's temporary ouster. The investigation was led by the U.S. law firm WilmerHale.

Just a day before Sutskever's announcement, OpenAI launched a new AI model and a desktop version of its ChatGPT chatbot, along with an updated interface. The new GPT-4 model was made available to all users, including free users, and featured improvements in speed and capabilities across text, video, and audio. OpenAI also plans to introduce video chat features for ChatGPT.

Sutskever initially joined OpenAI in 2015 after being convinced by Elon Musk, another co-founder. Jan Leike, who co-led the Superalignment team with Sutskever, also announced his departure from OpenAI. This team has been working on controlling smarter AI systems and was allocated 20% of OpenAI's computing power for four years.

Key Points

  1. Ilya Sutskever, a key co-founder of OpenAI, has decided to leave the company amid leadership changes and different visions for AI's future.

  2. OpenAI recently launched a new AI model and is planning to introduce video chat features in ChatGPT, demonstrating continued innovation despite internal challenges.


Q1. Why did Ilya Sutskever leave OpenAI?

Ilya Sutskever left OpenAI due to differing visions for the future of the company and its technology, focusing on AI safety over rapid technological advancements.

Q2. Who is replacing Ilya Sutskever as chief scientist at OpenAI?

Jakub Pachocki, who has been with OpenAI since 2017, will take over as the new chief scientist following Ilya Sutskever's departure.

Q3. What recent developments has OpenAI announced?

OpenAI launched a new AI model, GPT-4, along with a desktop version of ChatGPT and plans to introduce video chat features, aiming to enhance user interaction and capabilities.



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