Emmett Shear, the former chief executive officer of Twitch, is set to take the reins as interim CEO of OpenAI, as revealed in an internal company message on Sunday.
The news comes after negotiations aimed at bringing back former CEO Sam Altman, who was fired by the board on Friday, broke down over the composition of a potential new board, people familiar with the matter said. Shear, known for highlighting the risks associated with artificial intelligence, shares concerns with some of OpenAI's directors.
Shear emphasized that the issue with AI is that it poses an abstract threat, as opposed to something like a pandemic, where the risks are very concrete.
"It's scary enough that I urgently urge action on the issue," Shear noted. "I think it's going to be okay. But the downside is probably worse than nuclear war," he added.
Previously, Shear was the chief executive officer of Twitch, a position he served since it was originally founded as a live video platform Justin.tv and until March 2023. Shear serves as an American internet entrepreneur, and investor and served as a part-time partner at venture capital firm Y Combinator.
Individuals in Altman's circle have revealed his intention to initiate a fresh venture that could directly challenge OpenAI. Altman intends to collaborate with entrepreneur Greg Brockman, the former OpenAI president who resigned in objection after Altman's removal.
While rumors circulated about Altman collaborating with Jony Ive, Apple's former design head, to create the "iPhone of artificial intelligence," Altman denied these speculations at a Wall Street Journal conference.
Sam Altman, a co-founder of OpenAI, initially served as co-chairman with Elon Musk. However, Musk departed in 2018 due to a potential conflict of interest with Tesla, pursuing his own AI initiative, xAI. Altman bid farewell to the company he co-founded, expressing that he "had a really good time" at OpenAI.
Source: Forbes & Semafor