OpenAI Ilya

OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever Leaves Company

OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever is leaving the generative AI startup. He and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman shared the news through posts on X (formerly Twitter), where Altman also announced that research principal Jakub Pachocki will take up the chief scientist role.

Ilya Out of OpenAI

“After almost a decade, I have made the decision to leave OpenAI. The company’s trajectory has been nothing short of miraculous, and I’m confident that OpenAI will build AGI that is both safe and beneficial,” Sutskever wrote in a post on X, citing the current leadership of OpenAI as the reason for his confidence. “. It was an honor and a privilege to have worked together, and I will miss everyone dearly. So long, and thanks for everything. 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.”

Sutskever played a key part in the development of generative AI technologies that define OpenAI, including the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) model at the heart of OpenAI’s work. This leadership change follows a tempestuous period for OpenAI. Altman’s abrupt but brief ousting last November saw a lot of rumors flying around that Sutskever and OpenAI CTO Mira Murati raised concerns about Altman’s leadership, particularly his approach to rapidly deploying AI products potentially at the expense of safety research.

Altman’s return included a a shakeup in how the company operates, including new safety rules and plans to integrate more fully the work of the “superalignment” team created last summer to predict and prepare for more theoretical superintelligent generative AI models. On the financial side, Altman took a step back from controlling the OpenAI Startup Fund last month. Regardless, Sutskever is out, and Murati started the week by introducing OpenAI’s new GPT-4o model.

Pachocki was not one of the OpenAI co-founders but joined in 2017, only a couple of years after the startup formed. Initially a research lead in OpenAI’s work on the strategy game Dota 2, Pachocki later took on leadership roles within the company’s reasoning and science of deep learning teams before becoming principal of research and now chief scientist.

Pachocki’s appointment as chief scientist may be part of OpenAI’s effort to emphasize continuity and safety in its generative AI research and development. His prior experience with AI systems in gaming and his research in deep learning optimization are expected to influence the company’s future projects and strategic decisions.

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