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The Former Chief Scientist Behind ChatGPT Is Starting His Own Company — With Only One Goal and One Product in Mind The news comes one month after he left ChatGPT-maker OpenAI.

By Sherin Shibu Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI co-founder and former chief scientist, is starting a new company.
  • Sutskever announced the company, SSI or Safe Superintelligence, in a post on X on Wednesday.
  • AI safety is at the heart of the company.

Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI's former chief scientist who left the company last month, is leading a new startup to rival OpenAI.

According to a Wednesday post on X, Sutskever's new company has "one focus, one goal, and one product" in mind — a safe superintelligence or SSI.

SSI is also the new startup's name.

SSI's website, though barebones with just one page of text at the time of writing, outlines that Sutskever, former Apple director Daniel Gross, and former OpenAI engineer Daniel Levy have started the world's first safe superintelligence lab.

"We approach safety and capabilities in tandem," the site reads. "We plan to advance capabilities as fast as possible while making sure our safety always remains ahead."

The statement about developing safety hand-in-hand with new AI aligns with a previous comment from AI expert Sahil Agarwal, a Yale PhD in applied mathematics.

Agarwal told Entrepreneur last month that innovation and safety aren't two things that have to be balanced. They are, instead, inseparable as a company grows.

"You're not stopping innovation from happening when you're trying to make [AI] more safe and secure for society," Agarwal said.

Related: Now that OpenAI's Superalignment Team Has Been Disbanded, Who's Preventing AI from Going Rogue?

Sutskever left OpenAI last month after co-founding it nearly a decade ago and serving on the board.

The move followed a November controversy in which Sutskever and other board members fired OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

They brought Altman back less than a week later, after most of OpenAI's employees threatened to quit in a mass exodus to Microsoft unless he was reinstated.


Ilya Sutskever (right) and Sam Altman (center). Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Sutskever and his co-lead on an AI safety project, Jan Leike, resigned from OpenAI on the same day.

While Sutskever stated he was "confident" that OpenAI would build "safe and beneficial" AI under Altman's leadership in his parting statement, Leike said he left because "over the past years, safety culture and processes have taken a backseat to shiny products" at OpenAI.

Related: Former OpenAI Board Member Reveals Why She Had CEO Sam Altman Fired

OpenAI is currently valued at $80 billion.

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

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