Emmett Shear to be interim CEO of OpenAI

post by Max H (Maxc) · 2023-11-20T05:40:45.139Z · LW · GW · 5 comments

This is a link post for https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/20/23967515/sam-altman-openai-board-fired-new-ceo



Update 2: this is kind of stale given more recent developments and I'm not planning to update it further; probably any further discussion should happen in OpenAI: Facts from a Weekend [LW · GW] or other newer posts.

Update: un-paywalled article from the Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/20/23967515/sam-altman-openai-board-fired-new-ceo 

This is still breaking as of 9:30 PT on Sunday, but according to a Bloomberg journalist:



Paywalled article: https://www.theinformation.com/articles/breaking-sam-altman-will-not-return-as-ceo-of-openai

Emmett Shear, co-founder of Amazon-owned video streaming site Twitch, will take over as interim CEO, Sutskever said.

Manifold is not totally convinced: 

But I think this is mainly due to the permanent vs. interim issue.

More context: https://twitter.com/ashleevance/status/1726469283734274338

Emmett's twitter: https://twitter.com/eshear

Emmett's appearance on The Logan Bartlett show: https://twitter.com/liron/status/1672986864297578501


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by O O (o-o) · 2023-11-20T08:03:11.238Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Can someone make predictions on the rate of progress of Sam’s newco.

  1. Will it exist? My take: 95%+
  2. Will it surpass OpenAI for SoTA model progress? My take: 5% if timelines are very short, 65-70% otherwise

Corporate structure:

Probably similar to anthropic on the scale of non profit to for profit.

Safety adherence:

More than Perplexity/Inflection, less than OpenAI, Anthropic, DeepMind

Some justifications for the above:

Sam seems to want to make it a standard growth focused tech company but obviously believes in X-risk pretty seriously.

A couple of researchers seem to have resigned, if the bod can’t come up with a compelling reason for their decision, I expect a lot of other researchers to follow, especially outside of the superalignment team.

Replies from: o-o
comment by O O (o-o) · 2023-11-20T08:21:33.821Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Edit: 1. was wrong. I’m shocked

Replies from: mishka
comment by mishka · 2023-11-20T08:48:08.090Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not quite wrong, just a "post-acquisition corporate structure" already ;-)

Now, a lot depends of how close to reality this tweet will be: https://twitter.com/satyanadella/status/1726516824597258569

I’m super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation. We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to having you do the same.

Of course, a feel of being within a big corp can easily kill any creativity whatsoever, but they do a good job shielding people from that, they can move very fast even conditional on short timelines.

Of course, if they actually start competing for SOTA, safety will become a big issue, there is a danger of them being less careful than OpenAI has been so far, so what has happened is not necessarily a win for safety.