OpenAI’s Co-Founder, Andrej Karpathy, Steps Down, Eyes Personal Ventures

OpenAI's Co-Founder, Andrej Karpathy, Steps Down, Eyes Personal Ventures

Renowned AI scholar Andrej Karpathy departs from OpenAI to focus on his projects. His contributions to Tesla’s Autopilot and AI revolutionized the AI field.

Andrej Karpathy, an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher and one of the founding members of OpenAI, said in a post on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that he left the Microsoft-backed company.

The news marks a significant departure from OpenAI, one of the top labs competing to develop increasingly capable artificial intelligence.

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Karpathy at OpenAI

Karpathy joined OpenAI in his second stint last year and was once a senior director for AI at Tesla. He initially left the company to join Tesla in 2017, where he led the autopilot team. He was instrumental in developing the electric car maker’s artificial intelligence and driver assistant technology here.

Before joining Tesla, Karpathy studied under renowned Stanford AI scientist Fei-Fei Li and joined OpenAI as one of its earliest staffers. He recently spoke about AI, known as large language models, acting as a new computer operating system.

Karpathy believes his immediate plan is to work on his projects and see what happens. Additionally, he has built an immense following on social media and YouTube, posting thought-provoking writings on the nascent space and videos explaining AI’s inner workings.

Leaving OpenAI

Kartphaty’s departure follows a tumultuous year at OpenAI, where Sam Altman was momentarily removed as the CEO before being reinstated in a high-drama week.

However, Karpathy’s responsibilities were transferred to another researcher, whose name was withheld by OpenAI.

According to the spokesperson, Andrej is departing to pursue personal projects. They are deeply grateful for his contributions and wish him the best. His responsibilities have transitioned to a senior researcher who worked closely alongside Andrej.

Significantly, Karpathy’s X bio, which was initially changed, read “building kind of a J.A.R.V.I.S. at @OpenAI,” indicating that he was working on an AI assistant project at the company. Earlier this year, he explained the rationale behind writing this. His goal was to create a phrase that could capture a helpful and conversational AI.

He said that he only named JARVIS, in general terms, as one of his favorite popular portrayals of an AI: a helpful, conversational, empowering e/ia automation—an aid against evil and entropy.

Elon Musk and X Users React

Andrej’s tweet has generated over 1.5 million views and 14k likes as of the time of this report.

Several X (formerly Twitter) users have reacted to Andrej’s tweet. An X user asked if his departure from OpenAI meant more YouTube videos would be coming. Andrej replied that he had already started the next video about two days ago. However, he was requested to post his videos on X, and Elon Musk affirmed that.

Additionally, Andrej said that one of his favorite meets at OpenAI was a cubing session with two very fast cubers, one of whom is a former world record holder. He can’t cube anywhere near his prior level anymore, so it was a bit embarrassing but really fun.

The last two videos on his YouTube channel got over one million views each. He will probably announce more details on what he’s working on through his videos.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.