Elon Musk, Other Tech Leaders, Scientists Sign Petition to Pause AI Development, Establish Safety Protocols

An open letter has been released to call for developers of AI technology “to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4,” citing “profound risks to society and humanity.”

The open letter was put forward by Future of Life Institute, a nonprofit focused on reducing global catastrophic and existential risks facing humanity, specifically the existential risk from advanced artificial intelligence. 

It warns of AI systems becoming human-competitive at general tasks and teeters a little on fear-mongering with the statement “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 jumps off from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s February 24 note that says “at some point, it may be important to get independent review before starting to train future systems, and for the most advanced efforts to agree to limit the rate of growth of compute used for creating new models.”

The time for this is now, the group claims. “This does not mean a pause on AI development in general,” the group pointed out, but “merely a stepping back from the dangerous race to ever-larger unpredictable black-box models with emergent capabilities.”

They are asking that developers and independent experts take pause to focus instead on jointly developing and implementing “a set of shared safety protocols for advanced AI design and development that are rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts.”

The group also says that developers must work with policymakers to “dramatically accelerate” the creation of governance systems for the technology and that there should be a regulatory body focused solely on AI.

The petition has so far been signed by former OpenAI board member and early investor Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak,  2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, CEOs of AI firms Conjecture and Stability AI, and over a thousand other people including tech leaders, and scientists.

Information for this briefing was found via Axios, Future of Life, OpenAI, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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