‘Potentially catastrophic’: Musk, Wozniak push A.I. moratorium

By Bob Unruh

Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and many hundreds of other experts in their fields are fearing that humankind could lose control of artificial intelligence programs, and it could cause damage.

That’s why they’ve signed a letter calling for a moratorium on that work.

Deadline is reporting that, so far, more than 1,100 experts have signed the open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on development of some of those advanced AI systems.

The letter to tech companies asks for a halt in training any system that would be more powerful that the current standard-bearer called GPT-4.

Deadline reported that Musk already had concerns about “unrestricted AI’s threat to humanity” and while he was an original cofounder of the OpenAI lab, he has since broken with the company and now is critical of its operations.

Deadline reported that other signers included Emad Mostaque, of Stability AI, and Connor Leagy, of Conjecture.

The report noted that large foundation models often are trained with text, images and videos and “can perform many tasks without specific training.”

But they have “struck fear in many afraid about the potential for job losses” they could eventually trigger.

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The letter signers say if there’s no agreement on a pause, that “governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”

They added, “Humanity can enjoy a flourishing future with AI. Having succeeded in creating powerful AI systems, we can now enjoy an ‘AI summer’ in which we reap the rewards, engineer these systems for the clear benefit of all, and give society a chance to adapt. Society has hit pause on other technologies with potentially catastrophic effects on society. We can do so here.”

The letter was coordinated through The Future of Life Institute.

The Daily Mail pointed out that Musk previously has described AI as humanity’s “biggest existential threat.”

The report explained, “His main fear is that in the wrong hands, if AI becomes advanced, it could overtake humans and spell the end of mankind, which is known as singularity.”

Musk previously has warned, “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.”

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