Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever is Leaving OpenAI

Ilya Sutskever leaves openai
Image Courtesy: Stanford University / HAI
In Short
  • OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever is leaving OpenAI after nearly a decade.
  • He was heavily invested in achieving AGI at OpenAI. Now, he will be working on a deeply meaningful personal project.
  • Ilya played one of the key roles in firing OpenAI CEO Sam Altman back in November 2023.

OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever has decided to leave the company. Ilya announced his departure on X and said, “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…”

The announcement comes just after OpenAI’s Spring Update event where the company announced its latest GPT-4o model. Interestingly, Ilya Sutskever was part of the leadership team behind the GPT-4o model launch and deployment.

We can’t miss the fact that in November 2023, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was fired from the company and many reports suggest that it was Ilya Sutskever who played a pivotal role behind Altman’s ouster. What happened next is known to everyone. Sam Altman was reinstated and Ilya Sutskever was removed from the OpenAI board. Since then, Ilya has been keeping a low profile.

On Ilya’s exit, Sam Altman said, “Ilya and OpenAI are going to part ways. This is very sad to me; Ilya is easily one of the greatest minds of our generation, a guiding light of our field, and a dear friend.” He heaped praises on Ilya for being a “remarkable genius” and appreciated his “warmth and compassion”.

Now that Ilya Sutskever is leaving OpenAI, what’s next for him? Ilya says he is working on “a project that is very personally meaningful to me about which I will share details in due time.” And as for OpenAI, Jakub Pachocki will take the role of Chief Scientist at the company.

Finally, Ilya was heavily invested in achieving AGI at OpenAI. The Atlantic had earlier reported that Ilya was the “spiritual leader” at the company for realizing the AGI dream and led a group of OpenAI employees who chanted “Feel the AGI!” as a rallying cry. Reportedly, he burned a wooden effigy that represented an unaligned AI that goes against the interest of humanity.

Now, what personal project Ilya Sutskever is working on would be interesting to see.

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