Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and a panel of AI experts have called for a 6-month halt in the development of any powerful AI systems due to the potential risks to society and humanity.
The rise of artificial intelligence has been accelerating as of late, with memes galore coming from ChatGPT, Bing AI, Google Bard, and Claude+ in the last few months. These AI chatbots have been making the rounds. While some of the conversations have been funny, and the usefulness, when used in a proper manner, is obvious, the technology has some AI experts worried about the direction we may be heading in.
The non-profit Future of Life Institute, along with more than 1,000 experts, has penned a letter stating a 6-month pause should be enacted in order to do some more research and be safe about the direction scientists are heading with powerful AI systems, with possible government intervention being called for.
“AI labs and independent experts should use this pause to jointly develop and implement a set of shared safety protocols for advanced AI design and development that are rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts,” the letter says. “These protocols should ensure that systems adhering to them are safe beyond a reasonable doubt.”
With well-respected members like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Yoshua Benigo—one of the “godfathers of AI”—and Stuart Russell, a researcher and leading mind at Alphabet-owned DeepMind, this mindset is gaining some traction in the community.
“AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” the letter warns while calling for anything more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-4 to be halted for the time being. “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.”
The Future of Life Institute, which wrote the letter, is primarily funded by the Musk Foundation, with Elon Musk regularly voicing his concerns about AI, while carmaker, Tesla, uses AI for its autopilot system. The Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT release has prompted other leading tech companies to put more resources into the development of AI models with integration into their products.