Ilya Sutskever is a Russian-born Israeli-Canadian computer scientist working in machine learning, who co-founded and serves as board member and Chief Scientist of OpenAI.
He has made several major contributions to the field of deep learning. He is the co-inventor, with Alex Krizhevsky and Geoffrey Hinton, of AlexNet, a convolutional neural network. Sutskever is also one of the many co-authors of the AlphaGo paper.
Career and research
From November to December 2012, Sutskever spent about two months as a postdoc with Andrew Ng at Stanford University. He then returned to the University of Toronto and joined Hinton's new research company DNNResearch, a spinoff of Hinton's research group. Four months later, in March 2013, Google acquired DNNResearch and hired Sutskever as a research scientist at Google Brain.
At Google Brain, Sutskever worked with Oriol Vinyals and Quoc Viet Le to create the sequence-to-sequence learning algorithm, and worked on TensorFlow.
At the end of 2015, he left Google to become cofounder and chief scientist of the newly founded organization OpenAI.
In 2023, he announced that he will co-lead OpenAI's new "Superalignment" project, which tries to solve the alignment of superintelligences in 4 years. He wrote that even if superintelligence seems far off, it could happen this decade.
Sutskever is one of the six board members of the non-profit entity which controls OpenAI. According to Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, Sutskever was the primary driver behind the November 2023 board meeting that led to Altman's firing and Brockman's resignation from OpenAI. The Information speculated that the firing in part resulted from a conflict over the extent to which the company should commit to AI safety. In a company all-hands shortly after the board meeting, Sutskever stated that firing Altman was "the board doing its duty." The firing of Altman and resignation of Brockman led to resignation of 3 senior researchers from OpenAI.