Elon Musk wants pause in artificial intelligence development

More than 2,600 tech entrepreneurs and researchers are concerned about the development of artificial intelligence (AI). So much so that they drew up a letter to put the risks to humanity clearly on paper. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and a lot of other CEOs and CTOs, among others, signed the letter to temporarily halt the further development of artificial intelligence.

Immediate pause on AI

The Future of Life Institute (FOLI) published the open letter on March 22. In the writing, it calls for an immediate pause in training AI systems. All systems more powerful than GPT-4 should not be trained for at least six months.

According to FOLI, intelligence similar to that of humans is a threat to society and humanity. These are serious statements that are of course difficult to verify.

In theory, you might think that AI can only help us move in the right direction faster. In principle, this form of artificial intelligence has no will of its own, it listens exactly to the input we give it. However, according to the FOLI, it is not without danger:

“Advanced AI can bring about a huge change in the history of life on Earth and needs to be managed properly. (…) unfortunately we don’t see that happening now.”

Race to artificial misery

According to FOLI, a kind of race has emerged, in which developers do everything they can to bring their AI model to the finish line as quickly as possible. According to FOLI, most teams don’t even know exactly how their models work anymore, only that the answers they give are getting better and better.

It remains to be seen to what extent it will succeed in getting such a petition through. Especially since you then also have to wait and see whether researchers in countries such as China and Russia will also adhere to it.

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It seems unlikely that the Western world will go for a break and risk losing this race. However, that does not mean that the concerns are less justified, but what about Musk’s self-driving cars?

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