Artificial intelligence

Ilya Sutskever Announces Safe Superintelligence, His New AI Startup

Ilya Sutskever, a co-founder of OpenAI who departed the artificial intelligence business last month, unveiled Safe Superintelligence, or SSI, his new AI venture.

TakeAway Points:

  • Ilya Sutskever, a co-founder of OpenAI who left the business in May, revealed his new venture on Wednesday.
  • He intends to rename the business Safe Superintelligence, or SSI.
  • Sutskever was one of several board members at OpenAI who disagreed with Altman on the way the business handled AI safety.

Ilya Sutskever to start new Company

OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever, who left the artificial intelligence startup last month, introduced his new AI company, which he’s calling Safe Superintelligence, or SSI.

“I am starting a new company,” Sutskever wrote on X on Wednesday. “We will pursue safe superintelligence in a straight shot, with one focus, one goal, and one product.”

Sutskever was OpenAI’s chief scientist and co-led the company’s Superalignment team with Jan Leike, who also left in May to join rival AI firm Anthropic.

OpenAI’s Superalignment team was focused on steering and controlling AI systems but was dissolved shortly after Sutskever and Leike announced their departures.

Sutskever will continue to focus on safety at his new startup.

“SSI is our mission, our name, and our entire product roadmap, because it is our sole focus,” an account for SSI posted on X. “Our singular focus means no distraction by management overhead or product cycles, and our business model means safety, security, and progress are all insulated from short-term commercial pressures.”

Ilya Sutskever Partners with Daniel Gross

Sutskever is starting the company with Daniel Gross, who oversaw Apple’s AI and search efforts, and Daniel Levy, formerly of OpenAI. The company has offices in Palo Alto, California, as well as Tel Aviv, Israel.

Sutskever was one of the OpenAI board members behind the attempt to oust co-founder and CEO Sam Altman in November. Altman and Sutskever, along with other directors, clashed over the guardrails OpenAI had put in place in the pursuit of advanced AI.

Following Altman’s sudden ouster and before his quick reinstatement, Sutskever publicly apologized for his role in the ordeal.

“I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions,” Sutskever wrote in a post on X on Nov. 20. “I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.”

Sam posted last month saying Ilya and OpenAI are going to part ways, which is very sad. IIya is leaving OpenAI because of a personal project; he didn’t give more details about it and is set to do so in due time.

“OpenAI would not be what it is without him. Ilya is easily one of the greatest minds of our generation, a guiding light in 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.” Sam said.

Ilya Sutskever said in a 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.”

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