Elon Musk and Tech leaders urge a halt to the risky race for human-level AI.

Tech Leaders Call for Pause on Human-Level AI Development

Elon Musk and other technology leaders have signed an open letter from the Future of Life Institute, urging AI labs to pause the development of systems that can compete with human-level intelligence. The letter asks AI labs to stop training models more powerful than GPT-4, the latest version of the large language model software developed by US startup OpenAI. The institute, a non-profit organisation based in Massachusetts, campaigns for the responsible and ethical development of AI. The letter argues that AI systems with human-competitive intelligence pose “profound risks to society and humanity” and raises questions about the potential for machines to “flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth”.

The letter suggests that the development of AI should be refocused on making today’s powerful, state-of-the-art systems more accurate, safe, interpretable, transparent, robust, aligned, trustworthy, and loyal. The Future of Life Institute is calling on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least six months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4, or governments should step in and institute a moratorium if a pause cannot be enacted quickly.

OpenAI, which is backed by Microsoft, reportedly received a $10 billion investment from the Redmond, Washington technology giant. Microsoft has also integrated the company’s GPT natural language processing technology into its Bing search engine to make it more conversational. Google subsequently announced its own competing conversational AI product for consumers, called Google Bard.

Musk has previously warned that AI represents one of the “biggest risks” to civilization. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO co-founded OpenAI in 2015 with Sam Altman and others, though he left OpenAI’s board in 2018 and no longer holds a stake in the company.