Former OpenAI Co-Founder Ilya Sutskever Launches Rival Research Lab

Safe Superintelligence Inc. will focus on AI safety and avoid distractions from “management overhead[s]”

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

June 21, 2024

2 Min Read
Sam Altman and Ilya Sutskever speaking at Tel Aviv University in April 2023
From left: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Ilya Sutskever, now of Safe Superintelligence Inc., speaking at Tel Aviv University in April 2023JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

OpenAI’s former chief scientist and co-founder Ilya Sutskever has founded a rival to his former employers that focuses on safety.

Sutskever left OpenAI in May to work on what he described as a “very personally meaningful” project.

That project, as it turns out, is a rival research lab to OpenAI called Safe Superintelligence Inc. or SSI.

Sutskever said the company will “pursue safe superintelligence in a straight shot, with one focus, one goal and one product.”

“We will do it through revolutionary breakthroughs produced by a small cracked team,” he said via X (Twitter).

Joining Sutskever are other former OpenAI staff, including Daniel Gross and Daniel Levy, who ran the company’s optimization team.

In a shot at their former employers, the trio wrote on their website that their focus on safety would avoid distractions from “management overhead or product cycles.”

“Our business model means safety, security, and progress are all insulated from short-term commercial pressures,” the post reads.

Sutskever was among the OpenAI staff responsible for the company’s internal implosion last November, taking issue with issues around its approaches to safety.

The former chief scientist expressed regret over his involvement, but his desire for safety continues into his newest venture 

Related:OpenAI Chief Scientist Sutskever Steps Down, Pachocki Takes the Helm

“SSI is our mission, our name and our entire product road map, because it is our sole focus,” the trio wrote. “Our team, investors and business model are all aligned to achieve SSI.”

SSI says it’s an American company with offices in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv in Israel.

Upon his departure last month, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said he was grateful to Sutskever for his efforts at the company.

Jakub Pachocki now serves as OpenAI’s chief scientist, having previously held the position of director of research.

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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