Helena Lyng Blak
1 week ago

Dropping Like Flies: Another OpenAI Exec Is Out

Two major resignations rock OpenAI, leaving the AI community in suspense.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan - 26 of October, 2023: Display of computer monitor showing main web page of Open AI company - ChatGPT developer. Illustrative editorial — Photo by eranicle
Tashkent, Uzbekistan - 26 of October, 2023: Display of computer monitor showing main web page of Open AI company - ChatGPT developer. Illustrative editorial — Photo by eranicle

“I resigned.”

On Tuesday night, local time, May 14, 2024, co-leader of OpenAI’s ‘Superalignment’ team, Jan Leike, posted that simple but somewhat mysterious message on X.

The announcement was posted just a few hours after OpenAI's co-founder, chief scientist, and the other leader of the Superalignment team, Ilya Sutskevar, posted his resignation announcement on X as well.

The team’s focus is to ensure that artificial intelligence and the yet-to-be-realized ‘superintelligent’ systems do not pose a danger to humanity, its survival and to secure the programs’ alignment with human interests. 

Sutskevar’s announcement was diplomatic and positive. The co-founder said the company’s trajectory is “nothing short of miraculous,” and asserted that he is confident in CEO Sam Altman’s leadership capabilities and that OpenAI will build “AGI that is both safe and beneficial.”

Sutskevar was among the board members who, half a year ago, briefly ousted Altman as CEO. At the time, Sutskevar believed that Altman had pushed AI technology “too far, too fast,” according to CNN, but he quickly changed his mind, supporting Altman’s return to the company just days later.

In response to Sutskevar’s resignation, Altman posted a statement on X, saying, 

“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.”

In the same post, Altman also announced that Jakub Pachocki, a former Director of Research, will replace Sutskevar as chief scientist, stating, 

“Jakub is also easily one of the greatest minds of our generation; I am thrilled he is taking the baton here.”

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