OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever announces his new AI startup, Safe Superintelligence

Ilya Sutskever, Russian Israeli-Canadian computer scientist and co-founder and chief scientist of OpenAI, speaks at Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv, June 5, 2023.
Jack Guez | AFP | Getty Images

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.”

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.

Sutskever was one of the OpenAI board members behind the attempt to oust 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.”

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