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Tesla’s celebrated AI and Autopilot leader Andrej Karpathy has quit the company. He was already on a four-month leave, which had raised eyebrows then, before finally making this announcement.
Karpathy said he had no concrete plans for what he might do next. He added that he wants to spend time revisiting his long-term passions around technical work in AI, open source and education.
“Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you,” is what Musk had to say to bid him farewell from the company.
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Karpathy joined Tesla in 2017. Before working at Tesla, he was a research scientist at OpenAI. He holds a PhD from Stanford University in computer science.
Karpathy led the computer vision team of Tesla Autopilot. As per Karpathy’s Linkedin, the team focused on different aspects of data gathering, neural network training and making it work (through segmentation, detection, 3D/depth estimation) along with deployment in production.
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Off late, Tesla has been undertaking a few drastic measures like enforcing a hiring freeze and even laying off some of its staff. As per reports, Tesla laid off 229 data annotation employees from its larger automation team who were working from the San Mateo, California office. The company also plans to shut down the San Mateo branch, which employed 276 employees. The remaining 47 employees will be shifted to Tesla’s Buffalo Autopilot office. Last month, a leaked email from Elon Musk to Tesla employees showed that the company is asking employees to join offices back from their work-from-home setup.