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A group of prominent technologists, researchers, and other influencers are calling on OpenAI to hit the pause button on training its artificial tool, ChatGPT.
Top AI figures—including Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and Andrew Yang—have apparently signed an open letter calling for a six-month pause on developing AI systems more potent than GPT-4, the current version of the generative tool that first launched in November 2022.
In the letter, authors assert that if the private company fails to stop training its AI beyond the current GPT4 implementation, “governments” should force the issue.
“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,” the letter said.
The letter currently shows over 1,100 signatures. Some have questioned whether all the big-name signatories actually signed the letter, however. Notable names include Turing Prize winner Yoshua Bengio, Stuart Russell, director of the Center for Intelligent Systems, Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque, and Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen.
A spokesman for the project said the earliest signatures had been double checked, but that the display of names had been paused due to high demand.
“All of the top signatories on the list have been independently verified,” Future of Life Institute Vice President Anthony Aguirre told Decrypt. He added: “Doing so for the whole list (which is now well over 30,000) exceeds our capacity.”
A note on the site reads: "Due to high demand we are still collecting signatures but pausing their appearance on the letter so that our vetting processes can catch up.”
Musk, one of the co-founders of OpenAI, resigned from the board in 2018 but reportedly invested $100 million in the project.
GPT4’s arrival two weeks ago has created both excitement—with some heralding its arrival as more important than the advent of fire—and alarm among people concerned that unchecked, it could annihilate humanity.
The letter claims that AI systems with human-competitive intelligence pose significant risks to society and humanity. It argued that the focus should be on making existing systems more accurate, safe, transparent, robust, and trustworthy while accelerating the development of AI governance systems.
“Humanity can enjoy a flourishing future with AI,” it said, noting that “society has hit pause on other technologies with potentially catastrophic effects on society. We can do so here. Let’s enjoy a long AI summer, not rush unprepared into a fall.”
In response to a tweet about the petition, Musk responded, “Leading [artificial intelligence] developers will not heed this warning, but at least it was said.”
Leading AGI developers will not heed this warning, but at least it was said
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 29, 2023
OpenAI has not yet responded to a request for comment.