Why Musk, Woz And Other Tech Leaders Want To Halt AI Experiments For 6 Months

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An open letter concerning the future of AI development has garnered the attention and signatures of some very powerful people. So far it has received the signatures of high-profile leaders in the tech industry, such as Elon Musk, Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, Skype Co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and Pinterest Co-founder Evan Sharp.

With the ever-increasing popularity of AI-driven tools, such as those that use OpenAI's GPT, companies like Google and Microsoft are battling to stay ahead of one another in the race for AI dominance. With that in mind, over 1,000 people have already signed the open letter, that asks for a pause on giant AI experiments for the next six months. The letter, posted on the Future of Life Institute website, warns of potential risks and that the race to develop AI technology is dangerously out of control.

The Future of Life Institute was established in 2015, with the intent of steering transformative technology, such as AI, toward benefiting life and away from extreme large-scale risks, according to its website. On the website, it states, "The rapidly increasing power of these technologies implies that the changes of the next several decades, and their effect on the long-term future of life, are likely to be profound - and perilous."

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A few of the questions concerning contemporary AI that the open letter poses are, "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 insists the pause is necessary due to the fact that "recent months have seen AI labs 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." However, if the pause cannot be enacted quickly, the letter says, "governments should step in and institute a moratorium."

The letter does state that the measures being asked for do not mean "a pause on AI development in general, merely a stepping back from the dangerous race to ever-larger unpredictable black-box models with emergent capabilities."

Anyone that would like to read, and possibly sign, the full open letter can do so on the Future of Life Institute's website.