LISBON, PORTUGAL – NOVEMBER 7: LISBON, PORTUGAL – NOVEMBER 7: Emmett Shear, Twitch, on the Contentmakers 1 stage during the second day of Web Summit 2018 at the Altice Arena on November 7, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2018, more than 70,000 attendees from more than 170 countries will fly to Lisbon for the Web Summit, including more than 1,500 startups, 1,200 speakers and 2,600 international journalists. (Photo by Eoin Noonan/Web Summit via Getty Images)
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It’s been just a few days since Sam Altman, former CEO of OpenAI, was ousted in a shocking move and temporarily replaced by Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati, who served as the company’s interim CEO. Now, she has named herself a new replacement for OpenAI’s interim CEO.
After a weekend of rumors and speculation, Emmett Shear, former co-founder and CEO of Twitch, confirmed that he will assume the top position in probably the most prominent artificial intelligence company in the world. In a post on X early Monday morning, Shear said he received a call from the company asking him to become the company’s interim CEO.
“After consulting with my family and thinking about it for a few hours, I agreed,” Shear said in the X post. It comes after Altman, who led OpenAI through the development of the popular generative AI chatbot ChatGPT, was fired by OpenAI board.
The reasons behind his departure are unclear, but some experts had expressed concern that Altman was not the right person for the company. He is involved in another company, eye-scanning technology company Worldcoin, for example, and there were concerns that this may have served as a distraction.
Who is Emmett Shear?
Shear is a big name in Silicon Valley, but to most people he is unknown.
Shear took Twitch, the live streaming site he co-founded with Justin Kan, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt in 2007, from originally broadcasting Kan’s life 24/7, to becoming a global phenomenon.
Twitch was acquired by Amazon for $1 billion in 2014 and Shear resigned as CEO of Twitch last year.
During his time at the company, he faced tensions from streamers who believed that the platform did not defend their interests. He found himself locked in a tense battle with rival YouTube for talent, with the latter luring several high-profile Twitch personalities with lucrative exclusive streaming deals.
After Shear left the streaming site, he became a partner at Y Combinator, the startup accelerator. Altman was previously president of Y Combinator.
Before Shear founded Twitch, he co-founded Kiko Calendar, a calendar app he worked on during the 2005 Y Combinator show.
In his X Monday post, Shear explained why he had accepted the OpenAI job.
“I recently resigned from my position as CEO of Twitch due to the birth of my son who is now 9 months old,” Shear said in the post Monday morning.
“Spending time with him has been as rewarding as I thought it would be, and I was happily avoiding full-time employment.”
“I accepted this job because I believe that OpenAI is one of the most important companies that exist today. When the board of directors shared the situation and asked me to take the position, I did not make the decision lightly. In the end I felt that I had a “I have the duty to help if I can,” he added.
Because it is important
Shear’s rapid rise to CEO of OpenAI puts him in charge of one of the biggest companies in the AI world today.
OpenAI is known for its popular generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT.
The powerful technology behind that chatbot is called large language model or LLM. It is an AI model capable of processing and generating human language, based on training from large amounts of data.
As head of OpenAI, Shear will likely face pressure from regulators who have been scrutinizing AI modeling companies, given the risks the technology poses around misinformation and potential job displacement.
Earlier this month, the UK held a key summit on AI safety, attended by leading AI foundation companies, to discuss some of the most pressing issues in the field.
A topic particularly high on the list of areas of discussion for world leaders was the “existential risk” that AI poses to humans.
Read more CNBC reports on OpenAI
Altman himself has warned of the AI’s threat to eradicate humanity, despite being at the helm of a company that was working to rapidly advance the technology.
Notably, like Altman and other tech leaders including Elon Musk, Shear himself has made several comments about AI’s potential to eradicate humanity.
On The Logan Bartlett Show, a podcast hosted by Redpoint Ventures general partner Logan Bartlett, Shear said he believes there’s a “five to 50” chance that AI could wipe out all human life today.
In addition to this, Shear also said that the possibility of AI going rogue in the future “should make you shit your pants.”
He added that a potentially sentient artificial intelligence known as artificial general intelligence or AGI could result not only in the eradication of humanity, but also in the “potential destruction of all value in the chain of life” and in a “universe-destroying bomb.” “.
Clarification: The headline of this story has been changed to reflect the fact that Shear has been named interim CEO of OpenAI.