OpenAI founder Sutskever setting up a new AI company devoted to ‘safe superintelligence’

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WASHINGTON, June 23, (AP): Ilya Sutskever, one of the founders of OpenAI who was involved in a failed effort to push out CEO Sam Altman, said he’s starting a safety-focused artificial intelligence company. Sutskever, a respected AI researcher who left the ChatGPT maker last month, said in a social media post-Wednesday that he’s created Safe Superintelligence Inc. with two co-founders. The company’s only goal and focus is safely developing “superintelligence” – a reference to AI systems that are smarter than humans. The company vowed not to be distracted by “management overhead or product cycles,” and under its business model, work on safety and security would be “insulated from short-term commercial pressures,” Sutskever and his co-founders Daniel Gross and Daniel Levy said in a prepared statement.

The three said Safe Superintelligence is an American company with roots in Palo Alto, California, and Tel Aviv, “where we have deep roots and the ability to recruit top technical talent.” Sutskever was part of a group that made an unsuccessful attempt last year to oust Altman. The boardroom shakeup, which Sutskever later said he regretted, also led to a period of internal turmoil centered on whether leaders at OpenAI were prioritizing business opportunities over AI safety. At OpenAI, Sutskever jointly led a team focused on safely developing better-than-human AI known as artificial general intelligence or AGI. When he left OpenAI, he said that he had plans for a “very personally meaningful” project, but offered no details. Sutskever said that it was his choice to leave OpenAI. Days after his departure, his team co-leader Jan Leike also resigned and leveled criticism at OpenAI for letting safety “take a backseat to shiny products.” OpenAI later announced the formation of a safety and security committee, but it’s been filled mainly with company insiders.

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