Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and other tech titans call for immediate pause of AI training

OpenAI and ChatGPT
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Future of Life Institute has shared an open letter that calls for all AI labs to pause the training of artificial intelligence for at least six months.
  • Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, several tech CEOs, and many university professors have signed the letter.
  • The letter asks for AI labs and developers to create and implement safety protocols and are audited and overseen by independent experts.

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest topics in tech, but some are calling for further guidance and regulation before labs push AI further. Future of Life Institue penned an open letter calling for the immediate pause of all AI training for systems more powerful than GPT-4. The institute suggests a pause of at least six months to design, develop, and implement protocols for using AI safely.

"Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? 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?" reads the letter.

It continues, stating, "powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable." 

While you may have not heard of Future of Life Institute, you've likely heard of the people who have signed the institute's open letter. Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak are among over 1,100 names currently attached to the letter. That list also includes a Turing Prize winner, several university professors, and the co-founder of Skype Jaan Tallinn.

The call to action states:

"We call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4. This pause should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium."

How companies will respond to this letter is unclear. Microsoft's Bing Chat and Google's Bard are in a battle for consumer-facing AI. OpenAI just unveiled GPT-4 earlier this month. Technology like this tends to accelerate in development, not be paused for six months.

Below are some of the more noteworthy names that have signed the letter. The entire list is at the bottom of the letter:

  • Yoshua Bengio, Founder and Scientific Director at Mila, Turing Prize winner and professor at University of Montreal
  • Stuart Russell, Berkeley, Professor of Computer Science, director of the Center for Intelligent Systems, and co-author of the standard textbook “Artificial Intelligence: a Modern Approach"
  • Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla & Twitter
  • Steve Wozniak, Co-founder, Apple
  • Jaan Tallinn, Co-Founder of Skype, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Future of Life Institute
  • Evan Sharp, Co-Founder, Pinterest
Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.