More than a thousand key players in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology, including Yoshua Bengio, founder and scientific director of Mila – the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, have signed an open letter initiated by the Future of Life Institute to ask AI labs to immediately pause, for a period of at least six months, the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.
The signatories are concerned that “AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity, as shown by extensive research and acknowledged by top AI labs.”
Titled Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter, the letter cites widely endorsed AI principles and notes, “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. Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.”
The letter therefore calls 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 petition urges AI labs and independent experts to “use this pause to jointly develop and implement a set of shared safety protocols for advanced AI design and development that are rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts. These protocols should ensure that systems adhering to them are safe beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In parallel, the document suggests that “AI developers must work with policymakers to dramatically accelerate development of robust AI governance systems”.
In addition to Yoshua Bengio, high profile signatories of the letter include:
- Yuval Noah Harari, Author and Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Stuart Russell, Berkeley, Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Center for Intelligent Systems and co-author of “Artificial Intelligence: a Modern Approach”
- Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter
- Steve Wozniak, Co-founder of Apple
- Evan Sharp, Co-founder of Pinterest
- Rachel Bronson, President of the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”
The text of the open letter is available on the Future of Life website.