Earthquake at artificial intelligence company OpenAI... Chief scientist leaves

16 May 2024

Artificial intelligence company OpenAI is shaken by a shocking departure. The company's chief scientist Ilya Sutskever is leaving the company.

Ilya Sutskever, one of the three board members who forced OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to leave in recent months, is leaving the company.

“I have decided to leave OpenAI,” Dr. Sutskever said in a statement. Dr. Sutskever, 38, added that he had started a new project but gave no details. Jakub Pachocki, a key OpenAI researcher, will replace Dr. Sutskever as chief scientist at the company, which is valued at more than $80 billion, according to a recent fundraising deal.

On Monday, OpenAI introduced a new version of its ChatGPT chatbot, which can receive and respond to voice commands, images and videos.


Founded in 2015 by Altman, Elon Musk and several young researchers, including Dr. Sutskever, OpenAI has long been at the forefront of artificial intelligence, and Sutskever's presence has even increased confidence in the company.

OpenAI wowed the world in late 2022 with the launch of ChatGPT, an online chatbot that could answer questions, write poetry, create computer code and chat like humans.

Altman has become a spokesperson for the shift to productive AI, testifying before Congress and meeting with lawmakers, regulators and investors around the world. But in November, OpenAI's board of directors ousted him, saying he could no longer be trusted with the company's plan to eventually build AI.


There are six people on the OpenAI board, three founders and three independents. Dr. Sutskever voted with three outsiders to remove Altman as chief executive officer and chairman of the board, saying Altman had been consistently insincere in his communications. OpenAI's president and other co-founder Greg Brockman and Dr. Pachocki also resigned from the company in protest.

Days later, after hundreds of OpenAI employees threatened to resign, Dr. Sutskever said he regretted his decision to remove Altman.

Last year, Dr. Sutskever helped form a team within OpenAI to explore ways to ensure that future versions of the technology would do no harm. Like many in the field, he had become increasingly concerned about artificial intelligence. But Jan Leike, who led the team with Dr. Sutskever, also resigned from OpenAI.

Dr. Sutskever did not return to his job after Altman was reinstated. Dr. Pachocki has been the de facto chief scientist since November.

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