Over a thousand people have signed an open letter calling for a pause in developing increasingly powerful artificial intelligence (AI). Tesla boss Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, among others, are concerned about the lack of guardrails in case AI systems disrupt society.
Specifically, the signatories ask developers of AI systems not to build programs more potent than GPT 4 for six months. That is the latest version of OpenAI’s language model, which is well-advanced in the development of generative AI. In addition, models for artificial intelligence create complete texts or images themselves after simple instructions, for example, with the chatbot ChatGPT.
Musk, Wozniak, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari and other authors of the letter warn, among other things, about the social consequences if many people lose their jobs due to powerful AI systems. In addition, there is a risk that these programs “flood our information channels with propaganda and untruths”.
“Should we automate all jobs, including the ones that are fulfilling? Should we develop non-human minds that can eventually outclass and replace us? Should we risk the loss of our civilization? Those decisions should not be left to unelected tech executives,” the letter said.
According to the signatories, AI researchers and independent experts should develop general security protocols together. This set of rules, which must be subject to independent oversight, should ensure that new artificial intelligence models are safe. At the same time, governments should create new institutions with the task of overseeing the development of AI.
“This is not equivalent to suspending AI development in general, but rather marking time in the perilous race towards ever-larger, unpredictable models with new capabilities,” said the letter signed by 1,125 people on Wednesday afternoon…