Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s Director of AI, announced Wednesday that will leave the company after 5 years of working for the automaker. Karpathy joined Tesla in June 2017 as senior Director of AI to lead the computer vision team of Tesla Autopilot and started, in March, a “~4 month sabbatical” being expected to return to work this month. At the time, Karpathy said on Twitter he was “taking some time off to rest & travel after almost 5 years at Tesla”.
“It’s been a great pleasure to help Tesla towards its goals over the last 5 years and a difficult decision to part ways. In that time, Autopilot graduated from lane keeping to city streets and I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum,” Andrej wrote.
“I have no concrete plans for what’s next but look to spend more time revisiting my long-term passions around technical work in AI, open source and education,” he added later.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk commented saying, “Thanks for everything you have done for Tesla! It has been an honor working with you”.
Later, Karpathy reminded that Tesla’s Autopilot team has “hundreds of strong engineers who very much know what they’re doing” adding that they “just don’t have my public visibility”.
Andrej Karpathy designed and was the primary instructor for the first deep learning class Stanford – CS 231n: Convolutional Neural Networks for Visual Recognition. The class became one of the largest at Stanford and has grown from 150 enrolled in 2015 to 330 students in 2016, and 750 students in 2017.