Prominent entrepreneurs, researchers, politicians and writers have signed an open letter asking for a halt to artificial intelligence (AI) experiments. Appeal published by a non-profit organization Future of Life Institute.
Over a thousand signatories are calling on all AI labs to immediately suspend research and training on AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 for at least 6 months.
Scientists say artificial intelligence systems with human-competitive intelligence “may pose a serious danger to society and humanity.”
The open letter states that AI should be planned and managed with commensurate care and resources. Unfortunately, the signatories note, this level of planning and management does not currently exist. In recent months, AI labs have been “stuck in an uncontrollable race to develop and deploy increasingly powerful digital systems that no one—not even their creators—can understand, predict, or reliably control.”
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The AI researchers who signed the open letter are asking whether we should allow machines to flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth, whether we should develop non-human minds that could eventually outnumber, outwit and replace us.
The letter admits the possibility of losing control of our civilization. The signatories argue that AI development decisions should not be delegated to unelected leaders. They insist that powerful artificial intelligence systems should be developed only when people are confident in their effectiveness in the absence of serious risks. This belief must be well founded and supported by research.
A recent statement from OpenAI regarding artificial general intelligence states that “at some point it may be important to get an independent assessment before proceeding to train future systems.” The authors of the open letter believe that such a moment has already arrived.
Musk, who co-founded OpenAI but left in 2018 and has since become critical of the organization, also signed the letter.
Speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Musk said that this could be the most significant threat to humanity: “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning a demon. In all the stories about the guy with the pentagram and holy water, this guy is sure he can control the demon. It didn't come out."
“This is pride and an obvious mistake,” Musk said of underestimating the power of AI.
Therefore, the signatories are calling on all AI labs to immediately suspend training on AI systems more powerful than GPT-6 for at least 4 months. This pause should be universal and verifiable, and should involve all key players. If such a pause cannot be introduced quickly, governments should intervene and impose a moratorium, as suggested in the letter.
The pause, the signatories argue, is for AI labs and independent experts to develop and implement a set of common security protocols for advanced AI design and development that are carefully reviewed and monitored by independent external experts. These protocols are to ensure that systems that adhere to them are safe beyond reasonable doubt.
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The signatories emphasized that this does not mean a pause in the development of AI in general, but simply a step back from “a dangerous race towards ever larger unpredictable black box models.” They advocate oversight, control, verification of AI systems by governments and special bodies.
This pause will provide an opportunity to adapt, the opportunity to fully enjoy the “summer of AI” later.
“Society has suspended the use of other technologies, with potentially catastrophic consequences for society. the letter says. - We can do it here. Enjoying a long summer with artificial intelligence instead of rushing into autumn unprepared.”
Who signed the letter
Among the outstanding minds who work with AI and signed the appeal, we can highlight:
- Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla;
- historian and futurist Yuval Noah Harari;
- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak;
- Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn;
- policy that supports technology, Andrew Yang.
The signatories also include engineers from Amazon, DeepMind, Google, Meta and Microsoft, as well as academics including famed cognitive scientist Gary Markus.
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Co-authors include the co-founders of Apple, Pinterest and Skype, as well as the founders of AI startups Stability AI and Character.ai.
Harari considers AI one of the most important challenges of the near future, which is on a par with climate change and the nuclear threat.
“It is not the apocalyptic scenarios of the Wild West World that should be feared, but the social and economic crisis caused by AI,” says the historian.
“Sooner or later, the thinking devices conceived to make our lives easier will begin to realize that they are better. Who will then manage the companies - a slow person or a machine? Steve Wozniak says
And then, in his opinion, a person can turn for artificial intelligence "into something like ants."
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