OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever is leaving the AI company

The position of Chief Scientists will go to Jakub Pachocki.


As one of the companies leading the charge into this new frontier of artificial intelligence, any shakeup in leadership at OpenAI is bound to draw attention. Today, the company’s Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever announced he is departing OpenAI to pursue a new project that is “very personally meaningful” to him.

A team photo of OpenAI

Source: Ilya Sutskever

OpenAI’s Sam Altman took to social media to share the news about Ilya Sutskever’s decision to leave the company. In the post, made on May 14, 2024, Altman praises Sutskever’s contribution to OpenAI, stating that the company would not be where it is today without him. Here is the full post:

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. His brilliance and vision are well known; his warmth and compassion are less well known but no less important.

OpenAI would not be what it is without him. Although he has something personally meaningful he is going to go work on, 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.

Jakub is going to be our new Chief Scientist. Jakub is also easily one of the greatest minds of our generation; I am thrilled he is taking the baton here. He has run many of our most important projects, and I am very confident he will lead us to make rapid and safe progress towards our mission of ensuring that AGI benefits everyone.

While Sutskever is moving on from his role, the position of Chief Scientist is set to be filled by Jakub Pachocki. Ilya Sutskever mentioned the transfer of position in his own social media post:

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 under the leadership of @sama, @gdb, @miramurati and now, under the excellent research leadership of @merettm. 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.

OpenAI has had a lot of big announcements over the last few months. Just yesterday, the company unveiled its GPT-4 Omni, an AI model that can interpret audio, video, and text in real-time. The demonstrations were nothing short of miraculous, with the AI sounding far more emotive than what many had come to expect of artificial intelligence.

Back in February, OpenAI revealed Sora, a text-to-video AI model. While impressive, the results still contain the typical AI artifacts and errors, like extra limbs and elements bleeding into one another.

Stay tuned to Shacknews as we bring you the latest on OpenAI and what Ilya Sutskever is working on next. Read more on our Artificial Intelligence topic.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 14, 2024 6:00 PM

    Sam Chandler posted a new article, OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever is leaving the AI company

    • reply
      May 14, 2024 6:38 PM

      Surprising no one after attempting a coup against a Microsoft venture/CEO.

      • Zek legacy 10 years legacy 20 years
        May 14, 2024 6:46 PM

        I don't know if they forced him out but he clearly had grievances leading up to that, and I'm sure they never really let him back into the fold.

    • reply
      May 14, 2024 7:16 PM

      probably going to go to MSFT to lead that org that microsoft originally offered sam altman

      • reply
        May 14, 2024 10:25 PM

        there's probably much richer offers out there. china, middle east, russia... lots of big players probably wanting to catch up at this point.

    • reply
      May 15, 2024 5:22 AM

      I’m starring to think that OpenAI’s lead may not materialize into the next Google, and instead the current megacorps will capture whatever the main money-making part of the AI “revolution” turns out to be.

      • reply
        May 15, 2024 6:00 AM

        Agreed it will be super interesting to see if OpenAI can maintain the lead gap, it sure seems to me that they've had roughly a 12-15mo lead and it's closed to more of about a 6-9mo lead in the last year. Maybe they can widen it, maybe they can maintain it, I'm not sure what that means for them. It's fascinating having a 9mo lead is actually quite material right now because the capabilities are sooooo much more advanced and useful relative to the expense to use them

        • reply
          May 15, 2024 6:11 AM

          Definitely an interesting time. I think that, because you can use how users interact with your LLM to improve your LLM, we’ll end up with some natural monopolies. So whoever gets some critical mass first will win.

          There was an opinion piece (“we have no moat”) saying that open source models are improving faster than closed-source ones, so I could be wrong, but user feedback seems super useful to me.

        • reply
          May 15, 2024 6:35 AM

          i've heard some plausible arguments that longer term open source models will succeed.

      • reply
        May 15, 2024 6:35 AM

        prob MS nabs it

        • reply
          May 15, 2024 6:49 AM

          Yeah, but to what end? I'm still not convinced consumers will ever give a shit about it, but I could be naive.

          tagging for future mocking

          • reply
            May 15, 2024 7:45 AM

            not sure if consumers matter here if the biz side drives the revenue. for instance, MS Copilot licenses are going to fuel a MS end of fiscal year run and we should hear about it when they do quarterly results in late July/early august.

    • reply
      May 15, 2024 5:27 AM

      Went for the king and failed

    • reply
      May 15, 2024 5:28 AM

      Another researcher also resigned

Hello, Meet Lola