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Elon Musk and others urge to suspend AI development past GPT-4

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Several prominent figures in the tech industry, academia and politics, including Elon Musk, Yuval Noah Harari, Andrew Yang and Yoshua Bengio, among others, have issued an open letter to the tech giants urging them to suspend further research in AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months.

The letter was published by Future of Life Institute, a non-profit organisation and states that AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity and the 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 urged that given the potential of AI in every sphere of human life, it should not be left to unelected tech leaders. “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” the open letter cautioned.

The letter went on to say that if the pause should be taken now and there should be involvement of every stakeholder — public, government and the AI labs as well.

However, pausing does not mean that we should pause AI development in general, just take a step back from the dangerous and unpredictable AI race.

Google-backed Anthropic, founded by ex-OpenAI employees, is working on Claude, an ethical generative AI

The signatories also urged the governments to actively work with AI developers and develop a robust AI governance system to oversight and track highly capable AI systems, provenance and watermarking systems to distinguish real from synthetic contents and to track model leaks.

The governments should also fix liability for AI-caused harm and organise a well-resourced institution for coping with the dramatic economic and political disruptions that AI can cause.

In late 2022, Google invested around $300 million in Anthropic acquiring a 10 per cent stake in the company. With Microsoft investing billions in Open AI and Google in Anthropic, the AI market is certainly to see a meteoric rise.

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Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: