Sam Altman, the former CEO of OpenAI, was abruptly fired a few days ago, and his replacement has already been announced.
After weeks of rumors and speculations, Emmett Shear, the co-founder and CEO of Twitch, a popular live-streaming platform, confirmed that he might be taking the top position in the world’s most high-profile AI company.
In a post on Monday on the platform, Shear revealed that he received a call from the company, asking him to become the interim CEO, and he accepted it after consulting with his family and contemplating it for a few hours.
This comes after Altman, who led OpenAI through the development of the widely popular generative AI chatbot ChatGPT, left the board following pressure. The reasons behind Altman’s departure are not clear, but some internal sources expressed concerns that Altman was not suitable for the company. For example, he is involved with another company, Worldcoin, a biometric scanning tech company, leading to worries that he might have conflicting interests.
Who is Emmett Shear?
Emmett Shear is a prominent name in Silicon Valley, although he is relatively unknown to most people.
Shear co-founded Twitch, a live-streaming site he started in 2007 with co-founders Justin Kan, Michael Seibel, and Kyle Vogt. Originally focused on broadcasting Justin Kan’s life 24/7, Twitch has since evolved into a globally significant platform, hosting a wide range of events.
Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014 for $1 billion, and Shear stepped down as the CEO of Twitch last year. During his time at the company, he faced tension with streamers who believed the platform wasn’t adequately protecting their interests. He found himself in a high-profile rivalry with YouTube, engaging in a competitive battle to attract prominent figures with lucrative exclusive broadcast deals.
After leaving the streaming site, Shear became involved with the startup accelerator Y Combinator, where Altman was previously the president.
In his post on Monday, Shear explained why he took the job at OpenAI. He mentioned that he resigned as the CEO of Twitch last year due to the birth of his son. Spending time with his family during this period was as beneficial as he had hoped, and he was content staying away from full-time employment.
“I took this job because I believe OpenAI is one of the most important companies in existence today. When the board shared the situation and asked if I would help out, I didn’t take the decision lightly. Finally, I felt that if I could help, it was my duty to do so,” he stated.
Shear’s rapid elevation to the top position at OpenAI positions him as a key figure in the AI world, overseeing the company behind the widely known generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT.
As the head of OpenAI, Shear is expected to navigate regulatory pressures and potential job displacements due to AI, considering the scrutiny AI models face for misinformation and the possible ramifications on employment.
Despite being at the helm of such a prominent company, which has played a crucial role in developing cutting-edge AI technologies like ChatGPT, Altman warned about the risks of AI eliminating humanity.