Mark Freddy

from founding Twitch to running OpenAI

founding, OpenAI, running, Twitch

Emmett Shear has joined the OpenAI historythe American company that made artificial intelligence available to everyone with ChatGPT and Dall-E. After the departure of Sam Altman as CEO of the company, and the brief interim of Mira Murati, now it is Shear’s turn to lead this company, until further notice, to continue achieving success and continue developing its GPT technology. But who is he?

To redirect OpenAI and put an end, for now, to the small major crisis that the company is going through, as far as offices are concerned, the one chosen by the board of directors of OpenAI is a figure who already has experience in the technology and business sector. Mainly, having founded internet companies as well known as Justin TV and Twitch. In addition, he is known for his skills as an investor inside and outside the popular business incubator and accelerator. Y Combinator.

Precisely, as much Emmett Shear as Sam Altman They had met years ago. When, separately, they were among the first to receive the investment of Y Combinator for their respective startups. So, again, indirectly, their paths cross. The position left by Altman will be occupied by Shear for as long as the OpenAI board of directors deems appropriate. And as he explains Reuters, “Shear has plans to overhaul the startup’s management team and hire an independent researcher to delve deeper into the work done by Altman.” But let’s see what has become of Emmett Shear during all these years.

Brief biography of Emmett Shear

Emmett Shear, co-founder and former CEO of Twitch
Credit: SMX_9351/Wikipedia

Shear’s story is linked to Justin Kan, a childhood friend and with whom he has collaborated in the creation of all his companies. Born in 1983, they both met in seattleWashington, when they were both 8 years old, in the Evergreen School, a center for highly gifted students. Their lives remained united in the Yale University. There, Emmett Shear graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2005 with a specialization in Computer Science.

After finishing their studies at Yale, Shear and Kan were part of the first batch of talents who attended the business incubator and accelerator Y Combinator. There they created their first success, a calendar application called Kiko and which they sold for $250,000. A year later, in 2006, they joined Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt to create Justin TV. It was a live video platform. And initially I was going to tell the life of Justin Kan himself while wearing a webcam on his head.

They soon redirected the business so that anyone could broadcast live. A YouTube of live broadcasts that they launched in 2007 and that had more than 30 million unique monthly users. Since 2011, Emmett Shear served as CEO of the company. Precisely, one of Shear’s first decisions as CEO is to launch a division of his startup specialized in video game streaming. Would be called TwitchTV. Although it later changed to Twitch. And at the end of August 2014, amazon He bought it for 970 million dollars.

After purchase, closes and Shear remains as Twitch CEO until March 2023. That is when he leaves the company in favor of Daniel J. Clancy. The reason? The birth of his son. Furthermore, in parallel, Shear has been a collaborator of Y Combinator, advising and helping several startups.

Shear’s role at OpenAI

At 40 years old, Emmett Shear knows his brilliant career creating and directing successful companies. Personally, Shear has stated his passion for StarCraft. At least as a child. And to the card game Magic: The Gathering. But what do we know about him in relation to his new position at OpenAI?

In a lengthy message posted on X, formerly Twitter, Shear announced that he was accepting the role of CEO of openAI. “A once in a lifetime opportunity.” As chance would have it, Shear left his role as Twitch CEO for over a decade to take care of his son. “9 months from now,” as Shear explained in his message. And to reassure shareholders and clients, he left phrases like “our partnership with Microsoft remains strongand my priority in the coming weeks will be to ensure we continue to serve all of our customers well.”

Emmett Shear’s plan for the remainder of 2023 is to “hire an independent investigator” to do a report on the crisis that occurred in the management of OpenAI with the subsequent departure of Sam Altman, interview with employees, collaborators, investors and clients and, finally, put order in the management team of OpenAI after the latest changes.

Regarding Shear’s statements, in the past, regarding artificial intelligence, he has always been cautious and suspicious of the harmful potential of misused AI. Although considers himself a techno-optimist, also believes that AI can become so complex that it can evolve without the need for human intervention. And, therefore, be uncontrollable. Curiously, these opinions coincide with those of Sam Altman himself. Hence, both signed the collective letter that expressed their reluctance regarding the safety of developing artificial intelligence.

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