Andrej Karpathy, Tesla's former head of artificial intelligence, has announced that he will be joining OpenAI, the company that recently launched its ChatGPT chatbot to great fanfare. It's worth noting that OpenAI was originally a non-profit organization co-founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Some personal news: I am joining OpenAI (again :)). Like many others both in/out of AI, I am very inspired by the impact of their work and I have personally benefited greatly from it. The future potential is especially exciting; it is a great pleasure to jump back in and build!🪄— Andrej Karpathy (@karpathy) February 9, 2023
Publicly, Karpathy is a founding member and fellow of OpenAI. A little over a year after OpenAI was founded, Karpathy joined Tesla as Senior Director of AI and Head of Autopilot. After five years at Tesla, Karpathy left in July 2022.
Karpathy joined Tesla more than five years ago as a neural network and computer vision expert. At the time he joined, Tesla was transitioning from using Mobileye's technology to enable driver-assisted driving capabilities to its own computer vision system.
Karpathy is credited with building Tesla's machine learning and computer vision team, which led to a rapid promotion to become a key part of Tesla's Autopilot team and project to develop a fully autonomous driving system. As Tesla expanded its Autopilot to include a broader range of artificial intelligence, Karpathy was subsequently promoted to Senior Director of Artificial Intelligence at Tesla.
In March 2022, Karpathy announced that he would be taking a four-month sabbatical, setting the stage for his departure, as breaks for Tesla executives often result in no return to the company. Sure enough, Karpathy announced last July that he would not be returning to Tesla. highly respected in the AI community and credited with greatly helping Tesla recruit in the field, Karpathy's departure is considered a significant loss for Tesla.
A few months ago, Karpathy said he would consider returning to Tesla at some point, but today he announced he would be joining OpenAI. interestingly, OpenAI was originally co-founded as a non-profit by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who left Open AI's board of directors in 2018.