Ilya Sutskever is a computer scientist who is cofounder and chief scientist of the artificial general intelligence research and development company OpenAI. Born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Sutskever was raised in Jerusalem before moving to Canada with his family at age sixteen. Based on his studies at the Open University of Israel, Sutskever was admitted into a math program at the University of Toronto while in grade 11. He went on to complete three degrees—BSc (2005), MSc (2007), and PhD (2012). Sutskever sought out Geoffrey Hinton early in his time at the University of Toronto, becoming a part of his machine learning group.
After completing his thesis under Hinton, Sutskever took a postdoc in Andrew Ng's research group at Stanford University. Sutskever returned to Toronto, cofounding the startup DNNResearch with Hinton and another of his students, Alex Krizhevsky. In March 2013, Google acquired DNNResearch, with Krizhevsky and Sutskever moving to Google and Hinton splitting his time between university research and Google. Sutskever became a research scientist within the Google brain team. While at Google, Sutskever implemented a neural-network-driven approach to language translation that produced fewer errors than competing efforts. His work provided the basis for a major upgrade to Google Translate.
a large-scale project where many researchers and engineers come together.
Two days after the dinner, Sutskever emailed Altman, stating his desire to be involved. On December 11, 2015, OpenAI was formed as a nonprofit research laboratory with Sutskever as cofounder and research director. Sutskever would go on to become chief scientist and a member of the OpenAI Nonprofit board during the restructuring that saw the creation of the for-profit company, OpenAI LP, in 2019. In July 2023, it was announced that Sutskever would co-lead (alongside Jan Leike) a new superalignment team within OpenAI to work on the scientific and technical breakthroughs needed to control future, smarter than human, AI systems.