Andrej Karpathy Leaves OpenAI to Pursue Personal Projects

Andrej Karpathy Leaves OpenAI to Pursue Personal Projects

Andrej Karpathy, a founding member and prominent researcher at OpenAI, confirmed his departure from the company yesterday. In a statement posted on X, Karpathy said the exit was amicable and driven by his desire to work on personal projects, rather than any internal drama at OpenAI.

“First of all nothing ‘happened’ and it’s not a result of any particular event, issue or drama,” Karpathy wrote, poking fun at the conspiracy theories his exit might spark. He went on to praise his experience at OpenAI over the past year as “really great,” highlighting the strength of the team, people, and roadmap.

Karpathy’s career has traced the meteoric rise of AI, with the scientist playing an integral role in key innovations. After serving as a founding researcher at OpenAI from 2015-2017, he spent five years leading the computer vision team for Tesla Autopilot. He then returned to OpenAI in February last year.

An OpenAI spokesperson confirmed Karpathy’s departure and transition of duties to a senior researcher who worked alongside him. They expressed gratitude for his contributions over two stints at the AI pioneer.

True to his reputation as an engaging thought leader, Karpathy left followers with an enticing tease about plans to immerse himself in personal R&D. For those familiar with his past explorations spanning robotics, computer vision and gaming AI bots, speculation has already begun about what breakthroughs could emerge from his “one-man-lab.”

But Karpathy parts ways with OpenAI on a high note, stating this past year “has been really great” and that he remains bullish on the organization’s future. His exit avoids the controversy that surrounded other recent high-profile departures and seems to genuinely reflect Karpathy’s insatiable curiosity to push boundaries outside a single corporate entity.

Where Karpathy’s brilliance takes him next poses one of the most captivating questions in technology today. But for now, the eminent researcher is clearly excited to let his passion for AI development and innovation guide him once more into the unknown.

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