OpenAI has been rocked by dramatic management shakeups since Friday, and the appointment of an interim CEO only adds fuel to the fire.
Emmett Shear, co-founder of streaming platform Twitch, said Monday morning that he has been named interim CEO of the artificial intelligence company. Since leaving Twitch in March, Shear has taken a free-spirited approach to social media, criticizing Microsoftweighing in on gender politics and even engaging in a discussion about OpenAI’s firing of Sam Altman before his own appointment.
Shear replaced Altman, whom the company’s board ousted Friday. Altman was hired Monday by Microsoft, which has a partnership with OpenAI, and more than 700 of OpenAI’s 770 employees have threatened to leave and join Microsoft unless the OpenAI board resigns and Altman not be reinstated.
Shear said in March that he retired from Twitch to spend time with his newborn son, but since that move he has been a part-time partner at venture capital firm Y Combinator – which Altman ran as CEO less than ten years ago. Shear also benefited from Y Combinator’s first round of funding in 2005, while he was still in college and successfully launched a calendar app, which he later sold. Shear later co-founded Twitch, originally a one-person live streaming platform called Justin.tv, and served as its CEO for 12 years.
Shear’s appointment as interim CEO of OpenAI has already raised some concerns. critical from technologists and commentators, who questioned the due diligence involved in the nomination, given his social media presence.
On Monday, Shear’s biography on X lists his role at OpenAI. Hours before, his bio said: “Super opinionated about the most random shit.” Shear’s follower count on X has also doubled since he announced his new position, currently standing at almost 74,000 people.
Shear has posted more than 10,000 times on X in the past year, accounting for the vast majority of his posting history, according to a chart he posted. made and posted. Most of his posts were replies, and among those replies, a few of his posts the subjects – such as “rape/non-consent fantasies” and role of CEOswhich he called “very automatable” – have attracted attention online.
Many of Shear’s 10,000 posts over the past year are in response to people asking questions and observations about societal and technological issues, including topics like sex and dating, AI, social justice and the technology industry. Shear’s posts on X received relatively little attention until last week.
In his message announcing his new role, Shear wrote: “I accepted this position because I believe OpenAI is one of the most important companies in existence today. ” He said he spent the day speaking with OpenAI board members, investors and employees, writing: “And it’s clear that the process and communications around Sam’s removal were very poorly managed, which seriously damaged our confidence. »
Shear was posting about people involved in OpenAI on X just days before becoming its interim leader. On Friday, the day Altman was ousted, Shear responded to a meme about OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, co-founder and board member, who participated in the decision to oust Altman and then I apologized. The meme described Sutskever as a “ruthless Machiavellian” who plotted a coup at OpenAI. Shear responded in part: “Haters do the best marketing.”
A day earlier, Shear posted apparently in line with a New Statesman article that suggested automating CEOs – replacing their jobs with automated tools. “Most CEO jobs (and the majority of management jobs) are very automatable. There are of course occasional key decisions that you cannot replace,” he wrote. “Of course, this means you can’t really ‘replace’ the CEO, but I think we’ll see management become largely automated, leading to flatter, more dynamic organizations.
Mow even answered what parts of a CEO’s job he thinks could be automated, writing: “Communication, spotting problems and opportunities, identifying talent, constructive feedback.” In response to a claim that a CEO is the “human embodiment” of a brand to customers, investors and employees, Shear dropped a link to a popular Twitch V-Tuber – a 3D digitized avatar operated by a real person.
Previously, Shear engaged on X with people who mentored AI thought experiments. In the responses to a survey targeting people in the AI community (many people, both inside and outside the tech industry, have been interested in publishing about the developing technology), Shear wrote this “People aren’t afraid enough of getting a paper cut.”
The term “paperclip” refers to theories that AI is destroying humanity. In the discussion that followed, Shear wrote“The Nazis were very evil, but I would rather have real Nazis take over the world forever than flip a coin on the end of all value.”
The question of AI security, he posted Monday is “important”.
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