OpenAI’s new CEO, Emmett Shear, has dismissed concerns that the company’s board fired Sam Altman over concerns about AI safety. Shear also gave a clue on how he will steer OpenAI going forward.
In his first statement since being appointed as the CEO of OpenAI, Shear cleared the air over Altman’s firing from OpenAI.
“Before I took the job, I checked on the reasoning behind the change. The board did not remove Sam over any specific disagreement on safety, their reasoning was completely different from that,” Shear said.
Today I got a call inviting me to consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to become the interim CEO of @OpenAI. After consulting with my family and reflecting on it for just a few hours, I accepted. I had recently resigned from my role as CEO of Twitch due to the birth of my…
— Emmett Shear (@eshear) November 20, 2023
Shear co-founded Twitch, a live streaming service owned by Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). He resigned as Twitch’s CEO in March this year due to the birth of his son.
While Shear put to rest the rumors about Altman being fired due to AI safety concerns – some users even speculated if OpenAI had achieved artificial general intelligence (AGI) internally – it’s still unclear why exactly the face of the company was fired in such a dramatic fashion.
Shear also fears AI destroying not just humanity but all life in the universe. He shared his AI doomsday theory in an interview with Logan Bartlett, general partner at Redpoint Ventures.
“That loop will get tighter and tighter and tighter, and faster and faster and faster, until it can fully self-improve itself. At this point, it will get very fast, very quickly. That kind of intelligence is just an intrinsically very dangerous thing,” Shear said.
Shear’s philosophy seems to align with rumors that Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist and the one who is said to have led the coup against Altman and Greg Brockman, is also fearful of AI doom theories.
“If you value intelligence above all other human qualities, you’re gonna have a bad time,” said Sutskever in his last post on X, formerly Twitter.
if you value intelligence above all other human qualities, you’re gonna have a bad time
— Ilya Sutskever (@ilyasut) October 7, 2023
Shear also cleared another rumor, that OpenAI’s board is against Altman’s for-profit motives, giving a clue on what the company’s future direction would be like.
“I’m not crazy enough to take this job without board support for commercializing our awesome models,” Shear said.
He also shared a three-point agenda for the next 30 days. This includes an independent investigation into the entire chain of events that led to Altman’s firing, speaking to investors, employees, and customers, and reforming the management and leadership teams.
For now, though, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) seems to be holding all the keys, having hired Altman, Brockman and their former colleagues to lead a new advanced AI team at the company.
Microsoft also remains the single largest investor in OpenAI, holding a 49% share.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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