Elon Musk and other tech leaders call for an end to the ‘dangerous race’ to make AI as advanced as humans
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Elon Musk and dozens of other technology leaders have called on AI labs to stop developing systems that can compete with human-level intelligence.
An open letter to the Future of Life Institute, signed by Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, urged AI labs to discontinue training models more powerful than GPT-4 Was, which is the latest version of the big language. Model software developed by US startup OpenAI.
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“Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitors at common tasks, and we must ask ourselves: should we allow machines to fill our information channels with propaganda and untruths?” Read the letter.
“Should we automate all jobs, including completionists? Should we develop subhuman brains that may eventually outnumber, outsource, and replace us? Should we risk losing control of our civilization?”
The letter states: “Such decisions should not be delegated to unelected tech leaders.”
The Future of Life Institute is a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that campaigns for the responsible and ethical development of artificial intelligence. Its founders include MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark and Skype co-founder Jan Tallinn.
The institute has previously gotten the likes of Musk and Google-owned AI lab DeepMind to promise never to develop lethal autonomous weapons systems.
The institute said it is calling on all AI labs to “immediately stop training for AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 for at least 6 months.”
GPT-4, which was released earlier this month, is said to be much more advanced than its predecessor GPT-3.
“If such a pause cannot be implemented quickly, then governments should step in and establish a moratorium,” he added.
ChatGPT, the viral AI chatbot, has dazzled researchers with its ability to produce human responses to user prompts. By January, ChatGPT had amassed 100 million monthly active users just two months after its launch, making it the fastest growing consumer application in history.
The technology has been trained on vast amounts of data from the internet, and has been used to create everything from poetry in the style of William Shakespeare to crafting legal opinions on court cases.
But AI ethicists have also raised concerns with potential misuses of the technology, such as plagiarism and misinformation.
Musk has previously said that he thinks AI represents one of the “greatest risks” to civilization.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is also one of the co-founders of OpenAI, although he left OpenAI’s board in 2018 and no longer holds a stake in the company.
He has criticized the organization several times recently, saying that he believes it is deviating from its original purpose.
As technology advances at a rapid pace, so do regulators racing to get a handle on AI tools. On Wednesday, the UK government published a white paper on AI, citing various regulators to oversee the use of AI tools in their respective sectors by enforcing existing laws.