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OpenAI chief scientist and co-founder leaves company| GuyWhoKnowsThings


Ilya Sutskever, the OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist who in November joined three other board members in ousting Sam Altman, the company's high-profile CEO, before saying he regretted the move, will leave the company. of artificial intelligence of San Francisco.

Dr. Sutskever's departure, which the company announced in a blog post on Tuesday, closes another chapter in a story that stunned Silicon Valley and raised questions about whether Altman and his company were prepared to lead the tech industry into the era of the artificial. intelligence.

After returning to OpenAI just five days after his ouster, Altman reasserted his control and continued his push toward increasingly powerful technologies that worried some of his critics. Dr. Sutskever remained an employee of OpenAI, but never returned to work.

“This is an emotional day for all of us,” Altman said in an interview. “OpenAI would not exist without it and was certainly shaped by it.”

In a statement, Dr. Sutskever said: “I have made the decision to leave OpenAI. The company’s journey has been nothing short of miraculous and I am confident that OpenAI will create an AGI that is safe and beneficial.” AGI, or artificial general intelligence, is an undeveloped technology that can do anything the brain can do.

Dr. Sutskever, 38, added that he was starting a new project, but gave no further details.

A key OpenAI researcher, Jakub Pachocki, will replace Dr. Sutskever as chief scientist of the company, valued at more than $80 billion. according to a recent fundraising agreement.

On Monday, OpenAI presented a new version of your ChatGPT chatbot that can receive and respond to voice commands, images and videos, joining tech giants like Google and Apple in a race toward a new type of talking digital assistant.

Founded in 2015 by Altman, Elon Musk, and several young researchers, including Dr. Sutskever, OpenAI has long been at the forefront of AI research. Dr. Sutskever's involvement gave the company instant credibility. As a graduate student at the University of Toronto, he had been part of an AI breakthrough involving neural networks, the technology that has driven progress in the field over the past decade.

In late 2022, OpenAI captivated the world with the launch of ChatGPT, an online chatbot that could answer questions, write poetry, generate computer code, and chat much like people. The tech industry has quickly adopted what is called generative artificial intelligence: technologies that can generate text, images and other media on their own.

The result of more than a decade of research within companies like OpenAI and Google, generative AI is poised to remake everything from email programs to internet search engines and digital assistants.

Altman became a spokesperson for the shift toward generative AI, testifying before Congress and meeting with lawmakers, regulators and investors around the world. In November, OpenAI's board of directors unexpectedly ousted him, saying he could no longer be trusted with the company's plan to eventually create artificial general intelligence.

OpenAI's board of directors consisted of six people: three founders and three independent members. Dr. Sutskever voted with the three outsiders to remove Altman as CEO and board chairman, saying – without elaborating – that Altman had not been “consistently truthful in his communications.”

Greg Brockman, OpenAI's chief operating officer and another co-founder, resigned from the company in protest. Dr. Pacocki did the same.

Days later, when hundreds of OpenAI employees threatened to resign, Dr. Sutskever said he regretted his decision to remove Altman and effectively resigned from the board, leaving three independent members in opposition to Altman.

Altman returned as CEO after he and the board agreed to replace two members with Bret Taylor, a former Salesforce executive, and Lawrence Summers, a former U.S. Treasury secretary. Altman regained his seat on the board several months later, when the board expanded to seven people.

Last year, Dr. Sutskever helped create a Super Alignment team within OpenAI to explore ways to ensure future versions of the technology do not cause harm. Like others in the field, he became increasingly concerned that AI could become dangerous and maybe even destroy humanity.

Jan Leike, who led the Super Alignment team alongside Dr. Sutskever, also resigned from OpenAI. His role will be taken on by John Schulman, another co-founder of the company.

In the weeks before Altman's ouster, Dr. Pachocki, who helped oversee the creation of GPT-4, the technology at the heart of ChatGPT, was promoted to the company's director of research. After holding a position under Dr. Sutskever, he was promoted to a position alongside him, two people familiar with the movements saying.

After Mr. Altman was reinstated, Dr. Sutskever did not return to work. Altman indicated that he hoped to negotiate his return, but that was ultimately not possible.

Dr. Pachocki has effectively served as chief scientist since November. After Dr. Sutskever recruited him and others to join OpenAI, he was among the key researchers on several of the company's most important projects, including, notably, GPT-4.

“I am grateful to Ilya,” Dr. Pachocki said in an interview. “We have different and in many ways complementary leadership styles.”

Altman said he spoke with Dr. Sutskever on Tuesday. “He has pushed us, and he will continue to push us, to, as he says, feel the AGI,” Altman said.


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