OpenAI Employees Responsible for Security Leave the Ship - Latest Global News

OpenAI Employees Responsible for Security Leave the Ship

OpenAI has launched its Superalignment team almost a year ago with the ultimate goal of controlling hypothetical superintelligent AI systems and preventing them from turning against humans. Of course, many people were worried: why did such a team even have to exist? Now something more worrying has happened: the leaders of the team, Ilya Sutskever and Jan Leikejust quit OpenAI.

The resignation of Superalignment’s leadership is the latest in a series of notable departures from the company, some of which came from Sutskever and Leike’s security-focused team. Back in November 2023, Sutskever and the OpenAI board led a failed attempt to oust CEO Sam Altman. Six months later, several OpenAI employees who have either been outspoken about AI security or worked on key security teams have left the company.

In the end, Sutskever apologized for the coup (my mistake, dude!) and, along with 738 OpenAI employees (out of 770 total), signed a letter asking for Altman and President Greg Brockman to be reinstated. According to a Copy of letter with 702 signatures obtained by The New York Times (the most complete public copy Gizmodo could find), several employees who have now resigned either did not sign the statement of support for OpenAI’s leadership or were late in signing.

The names of Superalignment team members Jan Leike, Leopold Aschenbrenner and William Saunders – who have since resigned – do not appear along with more than 700 other OpenAI employees showing their support for Altman and Brockman Just‘ Copy. World-renowned AI researcher Andrej Karpathy and former OpenAI employees Daniel Kokotajlo and Cullen O’Keefe also do not appear in this early version of the letter and have since left OpenAI. These people may have signed the later version of the letter to signal their support, but if so, they appear to have been the last to do so.

Gizmodo has reached out to OpenAI for comment on who will lead the Superalignment team from now on, but we did not immediately receive a response.

In general, security at OpenAI has always been a controversial topic. This is what Dario and Daniela Amodei brought about in 2021 to start your own AI company, Anthropic, along with nine other former OpenAI employees. The security concerns were also reportedly why OpenAI’s nonprofit board members ousted Altman and Brockman. These board members were replaced by some notorious Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

At OpenAI, there are still a lot of people in the company working on security. After all, the startup’s stated mission is to safely create AGI that benefits humanity! However, here is Gizmodo’s running list of notable AI security advocates who have left OpenAI since Altman’s ouster. Click through on desktop or keep scrolling on mobile.

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