Monterrey Mexico.- The sudden appointment of Emmett Shear as CEO of OpenAI, made on Sunday night, places him at the center of high-stakes drama both in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and within his new company, highlighted The Wall Street Journal .
Shear, co-founder of the popular video game streaming service Twitch, became interim CEO of OpenAI after the surprising and dramatic ouster of Sam Altman.
Earlier yesterday, Shear said it took him just a few hours to accept the job, calling it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
It plans to hire an independent investigator to review the events that led to the turmoil at ChatGPT’s creator company and would push strongly for significant governance changes if necessary.
Shear’s appointment did little to calm a dizzying weekend of uncertainty surrounding OpenAI’s leadership shakeup.
Yesterday, more than 700 employees threatened to leave the company if the current board did not resign and Altman and Greg Brockman, the company’s co-founder, were reinstated.
By choosing Shear, OpenAI hires a critic of efforts to accelerate the development of powerful new AI tools.
Shear said he is worried about a possible apocalyptic scenario resulting from AI in a podcast published yesterday on X, the Journal noted.
“The board did not remove Sam for any specific safety disagreement, their reasoning was completely different than that,” he wrote in a blog post.
Shear is well-known in Silicon Valley, having led Twitch’s $35 million raise from investors before it was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for about $970 million in cash.
Like Altman, Shear was an early member of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley accelerator program, where he worked at a digital calendar startup after studying computer science at Yale University.
In 2006, Shear and two friends founded Justin.tv, which a few years later would be renamed Twitch, a word used to describe the sporadic, jerky movements of fast-paced video games.
When it was acquired by Amazon, the site had become one of the largest sources of internet traffic in the US.