Over 1,100 signatories, including influential figures such as Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and Tristan Harris, have signed an open letter calling on all AI labs to halt the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months. The letter argues that AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, raising concerns about the potential negative effects of AI technology.
The signatories ask whether machines should be allowed to flood information channels with propaganda and untruth, whether all jobs, including fulfilling ones, should be automated away and whether nonhuman minds should be developed that could eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace humans. The letter emphasizes the need for confidence that AI systems’ effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable before they are developed.
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The letter also argues that there is a lack of planning and management in recent months, with unnamed AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds. The signers say that the pause they are calling for should be public and verifiable and include all key actors. If a pause cannot be enacted quickly, the letter continues, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.