Tech titans including Elon Musk urge a halt to the "out of control" AI race

CNN || Shining BD

Published: 3/30/2023 5:57:28 AM

With "profound risks to society and humanity," some of the biggest names in technology are urging artificial intelligence labs to halt the development of the most potent AI systems for at least six months.


The Future of Life Institute, a nonprofit organization supported by Elon Musk, published the letter, which was signed by dozens of tech industry leaders, academics, and researchers.

The letter was released just two weeks after OpenAI unveiled GPT-4, an improved version of the technology that powers ChatGPT, the popular AI chatbot tool. The technology was demonstrated in early tests and a company demo drafting lawsuits, passing standardized tests, and creating a functional website from a hand-drawn sketch.

The letter stated that AI systems "more powerful than GPT-4" should be subject to the pause. Additionally, it recommended that independent experts use the suggested pause to work together to create and put into place a set of shared protocols for AI tools that are risk-free "beyond a reasonable doubt."

“Advanced AI could represent a profound change in the history of life on Earth, and should be planned for and managed with commensurate care and resources,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

If a pause is not put in place soon, the letter said governments should step in and create a moratorium.

The wave of attention around ChatGPT late last year helped renew an arms race among tech companies to develop and deploy similar AI tools in their products. OpenAI, Microsoft and Google are at the forefront of this trend, but IBM, Amazon, Baidu and Tencent are working on similar technologies. A long list of startups are also developing AI writing assistants and image generators.

Artificial intelligence experts have become increasingly concerned about AI tools’ potential for biased responses, the ability to spread misinformation and the impact on consumer privacy. These tools have also sparked questions around how AI can upend professions, enable students to cheat, and shift our relationship with technology.

The letter hints at the broader discomfort inside and outside the industry with the rapid pace of advancement in AI. Some governing agencies in China, the EU and Singapore have previously introduced early versions of AI governance frameworks.

Shining BD