OpenAI co-founder to depart ChatGPT

Sutskever leaves behind mysterious message on next venture

Co-founder and Chief Scientist at OpenAI, Ilya Sutskever, has announced he is leaving the company and posted a mysterious message about what might be next.

While Sutskever was effusive in his praise for company boss Sam Altman, it is difficult not to think back to the mayhem at the end of 2023 when Altman was abruptly fired by the company's board before rejoining as CEO shortly after.

During Altman's bungee jump from the OpenAI board, Sutskever tweeted his regret regarding his participation in the board's actions. Six months later, he is set to leave the building and be replaced by Jakub Pachocki as Chief Scientist, according to Altman.

Altman praised Sutskever in a tweet that we're sure wasn't written by ChatGPT: "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.

"I am forever grateful for what he did here and committed to finishing the mission we started together. I am happy that for so long I got to be close to such genuinely remarkable genius, and someone so focused on getting to the best future for humanity."

Gary Marcus, an AI expert and critic wrote: "Whatever Ilya saw, he is leaving. I don't think it's about a scary new algorithm per se (as many people have speculated) – I suspects [sic] it is about an attitude: the company's attitude towards AI safety."

Marcus also noted that several other high-profile OpenAI employees had recently left the company, including Daniel Kokotajlo and Jan Leike. Another founder member of OpenAI, Andrej Karpathy, left earlier this year but insisted his move was not the result of any particular event.

It's quite the loss of talent, and Sutskever's exit comes immediately after the debut of ChatGPT-4o, able to accept input and respond in a variety of ways, be it visual, audio or text.

Despite the flurry of exits from the company, Sutskever's is most likely related to the events of November 2023 despite his protestations of happiness to see the return of Altman. In the tweet announcing his departure, he said, "I'm confident that OpenAI will build AGI that is both safe and beneficial.

"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." ®

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