Steve Wozniak, Elon Musk, and More Urge Pause on AI Development

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, celebrity billionaire Elon Musk, and dozens of other technology bigwigs are urging everyone working on AI to suspend the development of systems more powerful than GPT-4 — reports CNBC.

GPT-4, unveiled earlier this month, is the latest iteration of the large language model that powers OpenAI’s viral AI chatbot, ChatGPT. It is significantly more advanced than its predecessors and can also be found under the hood of Microsoft’s Bing chatbot.

In an open letter, the Future of Life Institute called for AI labs to hit pause on training models that could conceivably compete with human-level intelligence. The latter was signed by Wozniak, Musk, and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, among others.

“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?” the letter read.

“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?”

The letter added, “Such decisions must not be delegated to unelected tech leaders.” Instead, the institute is asking all AI labs to “immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”

Failing that, the Future of Life Institute urged governments to step in and “institute a moratorium” on advanced AI training.

The Future of Life Institute is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization advocating for the responsible and ethical development of AI. It has previously succeeded in getting Musk and Google-owned AI lab DeepMind to promise to never create lethal autonomous weapons systems.

Even though conversational and creative AI is still in its infancy, it is maturing at an unprecedented pace. ChatGPT hit 100 million daily active users in record time only months after its release, and AI ethicists have already raised concerns over the potential abuse the technology opens the door to and the risks it poses to human civilization.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates last week called ChatGPT the most revolutionary tech advance of his time, while Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter CEO Elon Musk has previously said he believes AI represents one of the “biggest risks” to civilization.

Musk is one of OpenAI’s co-founders, but he stepped down from the organization’s board of directors and cut ties with it in 2018.