Andrej Karpathy is leaving OpenAI again — but he says there was no drama

Key Points:

  • Andrej Karpathy left OpenAI for personal projects.
  • His departure is not due to any particular event, issue, or drama.
  • Responsibilities from Karpathy were transferred to another researcher at OpenAI.


Research scientist Andrej Karpathy has announced his departure from OpenAI, marking his second exit from the prominent AI firm. Initially leaving to join Tesla in 2017 and subsequently returning to OpenAI about a year ago, Karpathy’s recent decision has been described as not prompted by any specific event, issue, or drama. Known for his significant contributions to the field, Karpathy has cultivated a strong following on social media and YouTube, where he shares insightful content on AI concepts.


In a statement, Karpathy emphasized that his time at OpenAI had been positive, praising the team dynamics, talented individuals, and promising roadmap of the organization. He expressed his intention to focus on personal projects moving forward, inviting speculation about his future endeavors based on his prior work.


Following reports of his departure by The Information, OpenAI confirmed that Karpathy’s responsibilities have been reassigned to another senior researcher within the company. Previously associated with a project related to AI assistants, indicated by his “building kind of a J.A.R.V.I.S at @OpenAI” bio, Karpathy’s transition suggests a shift in focus within the organization.


Karpathy’s legacy includes advocating for the development of helpful and conversational AI, as exemplified by his reference to J.A.R.V.I.S as a model for empowering automation against malevolent forces. This philosophy underscores his vision for advancing AI technology in a constructive and beneficial direction.


While Karpathy’s departure coincides with OpenAI’s recent period of leadership changes, including Sam Altman’s temporary removal as CEO followed by reinstatement, the research scientist’s exit appears to stem from personal motivations rather than organizational turmoil. OpenAI expressed gratitude for Karpathy’s contributions and extended well wishes for his future pursuits, affirming the continuity of his projects under new leadership.


As Karpathy embarks on his next chapter, his departure symbolizes a pivotal moment for OpenAI and the wider AI community, highlighting the evolving landscape of innovation and exploration in artificial intelligence research.



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