“I took this job because I believe OpenAI is one of the most important companies out there right now,” he wrote. Long post on X Early Monday morning. “When the board shared the situation and asked me to take on the role, I did not take the decision lightly. I finally felt it was my duty to help if I could.”
Shear declined to speak to Post reporters about his new role.
He is the second person to take up the mantle of interim CEO in a matter of days, replacing OpenAI's chief technology officer Mira Mirat — a decision that also sparked a rift within the company, according to a scathing letter signed by hundreds of employees. Who is he? And what does he plan to do at the helm of OpenAI?
The 40-year-old Yale graduate first became involved in startup circles in 2005 as the co-founder of Kiko, a company that develops easy-to-use calendars.
Backed by influential startup accelerator Y Combinator, Kiko didn't last long. But Shear made a connection at Y Combinator that set him on his current path: Sam Altman, future OpenAI CEO, was part of his cohort. Shir eventually went through the program with her Kiko co-founder Justin Kahn, this time to build a business that would support Justin's life 24/7.
The site at the center of it all — Justin.tv — would eventually become Twitch.tv, the popular platform that Amazon acquired in 2014. Shear was Twitch's CEO until March of this year, when he announced he was stepping down. “totally there” for her then newborn son.
On the surface, Shear seems like an unorthodox choice to lead one of the world's most valuable startups.
Much of Shear's recent career has been spent on Twitch, and while the service hosts a number of channels and streamers that use AI, the company isn't particularly reliant on AI.
One of the exceptions: a tool called AutoMod, launched during Shear's tenure, uses machine learning to identify and store offensive comments in stream chat so a moderator can manually review them.
While Shear didn't lead an AI firm, his experience growing consumer-facing platform Twitch could be attractive to the OpenAI board amid the company's ambitions to sell directly to consumers.
Another factor: While Altman made waves to bring OpenAI's ChatGPT bot to market, Shear expressed a wish Slowing down AI development to ensure security. People with knowledge of the matter told The Post that the power struggle that led to Altman's ouster is partly related to tensions between his push to commercialize the company's technology and OpenAI's security commitments.
However, Shear said Post on XTwitter previously said after his hiring that security concerns were not the reason for Altman's ouster.
“I am not crazy enough to do this work without the support of the board to commercialize our amazing models,” he wrote.
Shear previously worked as a consultant for OpenAI competitor Anthropic, but that relationship has ended in light of his new role, an Anthropic spokesperson said.
where does it go from here
Stepping into such an important role won't be easy, but Shear seems to have an early sense of priorities. In his statement on X early MondayHe outlined three areas of focus in his first 30 days on the job: He said he plans to examine “the entire process” that got the company this far, open lines of communication with partners and OpenAI employees, and rebuild management and leadership teams “in light of recent departures.”
catch? The scope of OpenAI's departure is probably wider than Scheer knew when he wrote this note.
At least 650 of OpenAI's 770 employees signed a letter criticizing the company's board for replacing Mirat as acting CEO and working “against the interests of the company,” according to an OpenAI researcher. Lillian Weng. And that number continued to rise, sources told The Post Monday morning.
Unless the entire board resigns and is replaced by two “independent directors” — Altman and former OpenAI co-founder and president Greg Brockman — those signatories said they may “resign from OpenAI and join a newly announced subsidiary of Microsoft.” Altman and Brockman Now they are leading. .
On Monday, prominent venture capitalist Vinod Khosla He demanded Shiri's resignation on X.
“Time for @eshear to step down before he becomes the sole employee of @OpenAI,” wrote Khosla. Khosla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shire's public statements can also be a stumbling block. He expressed concern that artificial intelligence poses a risk of extinction to humans — a view many artificial intelligence experts call alarming. In an interview with podcaster Logan Bartlett in June, Shear said AI could eventually reach human-level intelligence. In the same month he said about X That he would rather Nazis take over the world than artificial intelligence.
Sheer also used his X account to weigh in on controversial topics. In August he replied to the tweet About young women who have so-called non-consensual sex fantasies. Shear shared a screenshot based on decades-old research on the common sexual fantasies of men and women.
“But 40-60% of women seem to have rape/non-consent fantasies. Why do you think this is not a real sexual fantasy for these girls? Shear tweeted in response to the original post.
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