Elon Musk, Experts Call For Pause In “Giant AI Experiments”
PARIS: Billionaire mogul Elon Musk and several experts called on Wednesday for a pause in the development of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) systems to allow time to ensure they are safe.
An open letter, signed by more than 1,000 people so far, including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, was prompted by the release of GPT-4 from San Francisco firm OpenAI.
The company says its latest model is more powerful than the previous version, which was used to power ChatGPT, which is capable of generating text from abstract text.
“AI systems with human-rival intelligence could pose profound risks to society and humanity,” said the open letter, titled “Pause Giant AI Experiments.”
“We believe that powerful AI systems should be developed whose effects are positive and whose risks are manageable,” it said.
Mr Musk was an early investor in OpenAI, spending years on its board, and his car company Tesla is developing AI systems to help its self-driving technology.
The letter, issued by the Musk-funded Future of Life Institute, was signed by rivals and prominent critics of OpenAI, such as Stability AI head Emmett Mostock.
‘faithful and loyal’
The letter, quoted from a blog written by OpenAI founder Sam Altman, suggested that “it’s important to get independent review at some point before training future systems.”
“We agree. That point is now,” the authors of the open letter wrote.
“Therefore, we call upon all AI labs to immediately suspend training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 for at least 6 months.”
They called for governments to step in and ban companies if they failed to comply.
The six months should be used to redo research on security protocols, AI governance systems and ensuring AI systems are more accurate, secure, “reliable and loyal”.
The letter did not detail the dangers revealed by GPT-4.
But researchers, including New York University’s Gary Marcus, who signed the letter, have long argued that chatbots are big liars and capable of spreading false information.
However, author Cory Doctorow compared the AI industry to a “pump and dump” project, arguing that both the potential and the threat of AI systems have been vastly overstated.