Former Tesla AI Director Andrej Karpathy rejoins OpenAI

(Credit: Tesla/YouTube)

Former Tesla AI Director Andrej Karpathy has announced that he is rejoining OpenAI, an artificial intelligence startup co-founded by Elon Musk in 2015. Karpathy shared his move to rejoin OpenAI on his personal Twitter account. 

“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!” Karpathy wrote

Prior to his employment at Tesla, Karpathy was already known as a deep learning specialist who wrote several papers with notable individuals in the AI field, such as Fei-Fei Li, head of Stanford’s computer vision lab, and Google’s former AI head, Andrew Ng. Most of Karpathy’s work concerned image recognition and understanding, which were crucial for Tesla’s self-driving efforts. 

It was then unsurprising when Elon Musk ended up poaching Karpathy from OpenAI so that he could work at Tesla. Karpathy saw success in the electric vehicle maker, leading the creation of the company’s machine learning and computer vision teams over his nearly five-year tenure. By the time he left Tesla in 2022, Karpathy was already serving as the company’s Director of AI. 

While he has already parted ways with Tesla, Karpathy has maintained seemingly close relations with the electric vehicle maker and its executives. This was hinted strongly during AI Day 2022 when Elon Musk personally poked fun at Karpathy, who was watching the event’s livestream. Karpathy also mentioned during an appearance on Lex Fridman’s podcast that he loves the EV maker a lot. He also hinted at a potential return to Tesla in the future. 

“Obviously, I love the company a lot. I love Elon. I love Tesla. It was hard to leave. I love the team. Actually, I would really be interested in revisiting it, maybe coming back at some point. Working on Optimus, working on AGI at Tesla. I think Tesla is going to do incredible things… It’s just a really amazing organization. So being part of it and helping it along, I enjoyed that a lot… I’m happy to potentially, at some point, come back for ‘Act 2,'” Karpathy said.  

In a post on Twitter responding to a video of Karpathy’s segment on Lex Fridman’s podcast, Elon Musk clarified that “Andrej will always be welcome at Tesla.” 

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Former Tesla AI Director Andrej Karpathy rejoins OpenAI
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