Elon Musk calls for pause in AI development

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has joined several others in calling for the temporary halt of Artificial Intelligence experimentation.

In a statement titled “Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter,” 1,332 signatories, including Musk, and Apple’s co-founder co-founder Steve Wozniak, called on AI labs to pause the training of advanced AI systems for at least six months.

The letter, which was published via Future of Life Institute, sounded a note of warning regarding the possible costs of the continued creation of “AI systems with human-competitive intelligence”

The signatories raised the alarm that AI systems were currently poised to automate human jobs, flood information channels with untruths, and ultimately replace the human race.

The statement read in part, “Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones?

“Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization? Such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders.”

They further argued that the development of powerful AI systems should only be considered when their creators “are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.”

“This confidence must be well justified and increase with the magnitude of a system’s potential effects.

“Therefore, we call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4. This pause should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium,” they continued.

ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is an AI software trained on a large text data which allows it generate human-like text.

Users can interact with the system as if they were conversing with another human being rather than a machine. The system is capable of a wide range of tasks, including operating as a search engine and writing computer code, among others.

Artificial Intelligence has become a hot topic in the past few months especially as tech giants like Google and Microsoft compete to improve their versions of AI systems.

Similarly, fake images created by AI have become an object of concern in recent times. Pictures of Pope Francis donning a stylish puffer jacket and encrusted crucifix went viral on Twitter in the past week. Further searches revealed that the images were not real, but generated by an AI software.

On Tuesday, Musk, who currently owns Twitter, announced new measures to curb the proliferation of AI bots on the social media platform.

“Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in ‘For You’ recommendations. This is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle,” he tweeted.