Elon Musk and others call for a pause on AI, citing ‘risks to society’
Elon Musk and other tech leaders have urged AI labs to halt training the most advanced systems, warning in an open letter that AI tools pose ‘profound risks to society and humanity’ .
AI developers are “locked in an uncontrollable race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can reliably understand, predict or control”, according to the letter, which was published. Wednesday by the non-profit group Future of Life Institute. It has been signed by more than 1,000 people, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak; Andrew Yang, entrepreneur and 2020 US presidential candidate; and Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, who sets the doomsday clock.
AI powers chatbots like ChatGPT, Microsoft’s Bing, and Google’s Bard, which can conduct human conversations, create essays on an endless variety of topics, and perform more complex tasks, like writing computer code.
The push to develop more powerful chatbots has led to a race that could determine the next leaders in the tech industry. But these tools have been criticized for misunderstanding details and their ability to spread misinformation.
The open letter called for a pause in the development of more powerful AI systems than GPT-4, the chatbot introduced this month by research lab OpenAI, which Mr. Musk co-founded. The pause would allow time to implement “shared security protocols” for AI systems, the letter says. “If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium,” he added.
The development of powerful AI systems should only progress “once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks are manageable,” the letter says.
“Humanity can enjoy a flourishing future with AI,” the letter reads. “Having succeeded in creating powerful AI systems, we can now enjoy a ‘Summer of AI’ from which we will reap the rewards, design these systems for the benefit of all, and give society a chance to s ‘fit.”