Musk, others urge AI pause, citing ‘risks to society’

Published March 30, 2023
An illustration depicting non-profit Future of Life Institute’s call to pause AI development. — Twitter/@FLIxrisk
An illustration depicting non-profit Future of Life Institute’s call to pause AI development. — Twitter/@FLIxrisk

Elon Musk and a group of artificial intelligence experts and industry executives are calling for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than OpenAI’s newly launched GPT-4, in an open letter citing potential risks to society and humanity.

Earlier this month, Microsoft-backed OpenAI unveiled the fourth iteration of its GPT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) AI programme, which has wowed users with its vast range of applications, from engaging users in human-like conversation to composing songs and summarising lengthy documents.

The letter, issued by the non-profit Future of Life Institute and signed by more than 1,000 people including Musk, called for a pause on advanced AI development until shared safety protocols for such designs were developed, implemented and audited by independent experts.

“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” the letter said.

The letter detailed potential risks to society and civilisation by human-competitive AI systems in the form of economic and political disruptions, and called on developers to work with policymakers on governance and regulatory authorities.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2023

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