– OpenAI co-founder and Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever said on Tuesday that he was leaving the AI giant for a personal project, with researcher Jakub Pachocki set to replace him at the firm. 

Sutskever’s departure comes months after him and the then board of OpenAI ousted CEO Sam Altman on concerns over his alleged disregard for AI safety. 

But Altman returned to the role in five days, as his ouster sparked ire among OpenAI’s investors, chiefly Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:), and also saw a slew of OpenAI employees threatening to quit. Sutskever had also expressed regret over Altman’s attempted ouster. 

Sutskever said in a social media post “ the company’s trajectory has been nothing short of miraculous, and I’m confident that OpenAI will build (artificial general intelligence) that is both safe and beneficial.” 

Sutskever was also the head of OpenAI’s superalignment team, which was formed last year to look at ways to develop AI systems far exceeding human intelligence.

“This is very sad to me; Ilya is easily one of the greatest minds of our generation… OpenAI would not be what it is without him,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a social media post. 

Sutskever’s departure also comes just a day after OpenAI revealed a new version of its ChatGPT tool that can respond to voice prompts, images and videos in real time. 

OpenAI shot into the public spotlight in late-2022 with the launch of its ChatGPT tool, which grew rapidly in popularity with its ability to generate convincing text responses to prompts. The company effectively kicked off a mad rush among tech titans such as Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:) Google, Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:) and Inc (NASDAQ:) to develop their own AI offerings.

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