Billionaire Elon Musk
Billionaire Elon Musk and a number of tech experts in a letter Wednesday called for pause on artificial intelligence (AI) experiments and systems, citing risks to society and humanity.
In recent months, AI labs around the world "locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control," said the letter published on website of Future of Life Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, US.
The necessary level of planning and management that could have "a profound change in the history of life on Earth" is not happening, said the letter signed by dozens of tech experts, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
"Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?" the letter said.
Signatories argued that such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders, and powerful AI systems should be developed only once humanity is confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.
They called for AI labs to immediately pause for at least six months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 -- the latest multimodal large language model released earlier this month by San Francisco-based research lab OpenAI.
"This pause should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium," they urged.
The signatories included profound professors in physics, computer science and neural networks, co-founders of many US-based tech firms, and researchers in private institutions.