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Business News/ Companies / News/  Who is Emmett Shear? Former Twitch Chief and new interim CEO of OpenAI
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Who is Emmett Shear? Former Twitch Chief and new interim CEO of OpenAI

Emmett Shear, former CEO of Twitch, has been named interim CEO of OpenAI. He has ties to the effective altruism movement and has expressed concerns about the risks of powerful AI systems.

Former Twitch Chief Executive Officer Emmett ShearPremium
Former Twitch Chief Executive Officer Emmett Shear

The board of OpenAI has hired former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmet Shear as the AI startup's new interim CEO. The move comes amid calls from the company's investors, including Microsoft, Thrive Capital and Global Management, to reinstate Sam Altman as the company's CEO. Altman himself had indicated that today was the last time he would be negotiating with OpenAI's board.

Also Read| Sam Altman not returning as CEO of OpenAI: Report

A memo from the OpenAI board sent to employees and seen by the New York Times said, “The board firmly stands by its decision as the only path to advance and defend the mission of OpenAI,"

“Put simply, Sam’s behavior and lack of transparency in his interactions with the board undermined the board’s ability to effectively supervise the company in the manner it was mandated to do," the memo added.

Who is Emmett Shear?

Shear was the CEO of Twitch (a company he co-founded, but which was later acquired by Amazon in 2014) until March this year, where he spent around a decade turning the company from into the most successful video game streaming service in the world. He was later appointed as a part-time advisor to companies at Y Combinator, a startup run by Sam Altman, from 2014 to 2019.

According to a Bloomberg report, Shear has links to the effective altruism movement, which is sceptical about the risks posed by artificial intelligence. Effective altruists have imagined various scenarios in which powerful AI systems could be used to cause serious and widespread harm.

Speaking about the possibility of a hyper-intelligent AI getting out of human control, Shear said (as quoted by the Wall Street Journal): (as quoted by Wall Street Journal), “It’s like a universe destroying bomb…It’s bad in a way that makes global warming not a problem."

Microsoft committed to partnership with OpenAI:

Microsoft's Satya Nadella said he "looks forward to getting to know" Emmett Shear, shortly after he was appointed as the new interim CEO of OpenAI. Nadella wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI's new leadership team and working with them. And we’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success."

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Updated: 20 Nov 2023, 01:33 PM IST
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