December 6, 2023
Emmett Shear, the ex-Twitch CEO who was tasked with stabilizing OpenAI, has some spicy social history.  techcrunch

OpenAI’s interim CEO, Emmett Shear, could be out of a job by the end of the hour, day, or week, given how quickly and unexpectedly things are moving at the world’s hottest mess artificial intelligence company. But for now, he’s the man at the helm after three days of dramatic developments that saw Sam Altman fired on Friday and replaced by CTO Mira Muratti, sparking much speculation about Altman’s return. Were going, only for Altman and Greg Brockman. OpenAI investors and partners officially reached out to Microsoft, and Murati was replaced — late Sunday night — by Shear.

“Today I received a call inviting me to consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to become interim CEO.
@OpenAI,” he Posted Early Monday morning on X (the site was formerly known as Twitter).

Shear was previously co-founder of Justin.TV and CEO of its second life as Twitch until March 2023, which seems like a world away from the OpenAI drama. Now, he has a lot of work ahead (if he continues in the role).

Fundraising was underway (we hear the company is trying to raise a lot of money, including from financial investors as well as names like SoftBank and possibly even more support from its big investor Microsoft, which has already invested several billions in OpenAI (if the terms can be balanced without triggering an antitrust investigation). The company is at the center of the conversation around AI regulation. More research and development is on the roadmap. And of course there are more contracts to sign, to ensure that those playing with GPT are committed to becoming its long-term customers.

But the first thing is that the new CEO is starting out with a business classic, a three-point plan, which can be summarized as, what is the point? How do you fix it? And how can you profit from fixing it? He has to figure out WTF is going on and make sure it doesn’t send the rest of the company out of control.

In his case, in the next 30 days, he said the company plans to hire an independent investigator — meaning that even inside the company there are still some unanswered questions about what really happened. The investigator “will examine the entire process leading up to this point and prepare a full report.”

The plan is then to try to lower the temperature in the room – which also means that there has actually been some negative reaction, not only internally, but externally as well. He will “talk to as many of our employees, partners, investors and customers as possible, taking good notes and sharing the highlights.”

Last but not least, he will work hard to ensure that OpenAI does not harm customers and partners – the core of how it generates revenue – meaning, for AI applications and the use of generic AI. And it’s still very much in the beginning. day, is a real concern. In Shear’s words, OpenAI will “improve the management and leadership team into an effective force to drive results for our clients in light of recent departures.”

Shear Double confirmed other reporting over the weekend that whatever the issues were that led to Altman’s removal, they were not security related, or at least not as far as it related to running a business. “I am not crazy enough to do this without the support of the board to commercialize my amazing models,” he said.

just a few hours

Shear said that when he was offered the job over the weekend it took him “only a few hours” to decide to take the job. As it turned out, it took just a few hours for people to start digging into some of his key positions on technology and life, leading many to wonder if OpenAI’s board also spent more than a few hours coming up with its succession plan. Is.

He doesn’t support the Nazis but he did it out of panic raise them As a better alternative to other risks and endings when debating hypothetical end-of-the-world scenarios on Twitter. People also loved the conversation they had, where they tackled some other hot-button issues women’s consent, Given OpenAI, ethics in AI, and all the controversies in the field, no matter where you sit in his shoes (and what his positions are) he’s an interesting choice for a successor.

Less controversially, but confusingly, Shire also said that he “in favor of slowing down“AI development.

It’s unclear how much influence Shear will have on the course of AI development at the startup he leads — and again, there’s every chance the story could change again, given how much it Has progressed rapidly.

But at the very least, his support of pulling back from dangerous progress raises questions about how the company’s CEO feels about OpenAI’s current commercial strategy, as revealed during the company’s first developer event just the other week That was when it unveiled ChatGPIT’s 100 million weekly users and a range of new ways for third parties to build their own AI applications on OpenAI’s platform.

Shear may have had to navigate the dark world of social media after months of being out from under Amazon’s corporate radar, but one thing that may have made her attractive to the OpenAI board was that Shear, when needed, could stand up to the corporate overlords. Knows how to play well with.

Finally, he wrote in his ‘Hello’ post that “Our partnership with Microsoft remains strong, and my priority in the coming weeks will be to ensure that we continue to provide great service to all of our customers.”

Given how many employees are now threatening to move to Microsoft, which owns less than half of OpenAI, it will be interesting to see how this favorable situation changes for the company if it actually loses its strategic backers. Believes in living independent.

(We have contacted OpenAI with questions related to this story and will update when we receive a response.)


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