Ilya Sutskever, co-founder of OpenAI who helped oust Sam Altman, starts his own company

Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI's co-founder and chief scientist who joined other board members in November to oust Sam Altman, the company's high-profile CEO, has helped found a new artificial intelligence company.

The new start-up is called Safe Superintelligence. The aim is to produce superintelligence – a machine smarter than humans – safely, according to company spokeswoman Lulu Cheng Meservey.

Dr. Sutskever, who said he regretted moving against Mr. Altman, declined to comment. The news was previously reported by Bloomberg.

Dr Sutskever, 38, left OpenAI last month and announced at the time that he would start a new project but gave no details. Ms. Meservey declined to name who is funding the company or how much she has raised. She said that while it builds safe superintelligence, the company won't release any more products.

Dr. Sutskever founded the company together with Daniel Gross, who worked on artificial intelligence at Apple, and Daniel Levy, who worked with Dr. Sutskever at OpenAI. Dr Sutskever's role in the new company will be that of chief scientist but he describes his role, according to Ms Meservey, as “responsible for breakthrough discoveries”.

In November 2022, OpenAI captured the world's imagination with the release of ChatGPT, an online chatbot that can answer questions, write essays, generate computer code, and even mimic human conversation. The tech industry quickly embraced what it called generative artificial intelligence: technologies that can generate text, images and other media.

Many experts believe these technologies are poised to reshape everything from email programs to Internet search engines and digital assistants. Some believe this transformation will have as big an impact as that of the web browser or smartphone.

(The New York Times is suing OpenAI and its partner, Microsoft, alleging copyright infringement of news content related to artificial intelligence systems.)

Altman has become the face of the movement toward generative artificial intelligence by meeting with lawmakers, regulators and investors around the world and testifying before Congress. In November, Dr. Sutskever and three other members of OpenAI's board of directors unexpectedly ousted him, saying they could no longer trust him with the company's plan to one day create a machine capable of doing everything the human brain can do.

Days later, after hundreds of OpenAI employees threatened to resign, Dr. Sutskever said he regretted his decision to remove Mr. Altman. Altman returned as CEO after he and the board agreed to replace two board members with Bret Taylor, a former Salesforce executive, and Lawrence Summers, a former U.S. Treasury secretary. Dr. Sutskever actually resigned from the board.

Last year, Dr. Sutskever helped create what was called a Superalignment team within OpenAI that aimed to ensure that future AI technologies did not cause harm. Like others in the field, he became increasingly concerned that artificial intelligence could become dangerous and perhaps even destroy humanity.

Jan Leike, who ran the Superalignment team together with Dr. Sutskever, also resigned from OpenAI. He has since been hired by OpenAI's competitor, Anthropic, another company founded by former OpenAI researchers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *