Musk, Wozniak, and other tech leaders sign petition to halt further AI developments

A petition with over 1,000 signatures calls for a pause in giant AI experiments. Here's why.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Phone with Elon Musk's twitter in front of an OpenAI background
SOPA Images/Getty Images

Interest in AI has reached unprecedented levels, with new AI applications being made available to the public on an almost daily basis. Only four months after OpenAI launched ChatGPT, it unveiled its most capable large language model, GPT-4

A new petition seeks to halt these quick and massive developments and calls for AI labs to pause -- for at least six months -- the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4

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The petition, driven by industry experts, seeks to protect society from the "profound risks to society and humanity" that AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can provoke. 

Specifically, the petition targets the lack of planning and management that is going into deploying these advanced AI models, in what the petition has called an "an out-of-control race" producing systems that its creators can't "understand, predict, or reliably control."

The break suggested by the petition would give AI labs and independent experts the time to develop safety protocols for advanced AI design that makes AI systems more accurate, safer, interpretable, trustworthy, and loyal, according to the open letter. 

Should the key actors not want to quickly adhere to a break, the petition suggests that governments should step in and issue a moratorium. 

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Technologies in the past with "potential catastrophic effects on society" such as human cloning and eugenics have been paused by government agencies before, and the petition says this event should be treated with the same caution. 

The petition has garnered over 1,100 signatures, including those of notable industry figures, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Emad Mostaque, CEO of Stability AI -- the company responsible for inventing stable diffusion.

Musk, originally an investor in OpenAI when it was founded in 2015, has vocalized his concerns with the rapid growth of AI and particularly, Microsoft's involvement before.

As seen by the Tweet above, Musk's concerns relate to Microsoft's massive investments in the AI research company and the company's distancing from its open-source, non-profit origins

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