Hundreds of experts ask to stop the “dangerous race” of artificial intelligence until a global pact is reached

Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple) or the presidents of numerous technology companies; intellectuals like Yuval Noah Harari and hundreds of academics and researchers specializing in artificial intelligence. They have all signed an open letter released this Wednesday in which they ask the organizations that are developing this new technology to “pause for at least 6 months” their most powerful experiments, until the world has agreed on a roadmap for these systems “more accurate, secure, interpretable, transparent, robust, neutral, trustworthy and loyal”.

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“This pause must be public and verifiable, and include all key players. If this pause cannot be carried out quickly, governments should intervene and institute a moratorium”, assert the signatories, among whom there are also Spaniards such as Carles Sierra, director of the CSIC’s Artificial Intelligence Research Institute.

The letter focuses on OpenAI, the company that has developed ChatGPT. It places its new GPT-4, the artificial intelligence presented two weeks ago that improves the basic capabilities of ChatGPT, as the limit technology. “The recent OpenAI statement on artificial general intelligence states that At some point, it may be important to get independent review before starting to train future systems and for more advanced efforts, agree to limit the growth rate of the computation used to create new models.. We agree. That point is now,” he says.

The most powerful artificial intelligence systems should be developed only once we are sure that their effects will be positive and their risks manageable.

The signatories warn that the potential of artificial intelligence to transform society makes it necessary to produce an international consensus that sets the pace. They emphasize that the leaders of companies that have embarked on “a perilous race toward unpredictable black box models, ever larger and with emerging capabilities” are not the people who decide where those advances go.

“Should we allow the machines to flood our information channels with propaganda and lies? Should we automate all jobs, even the rewarding ones? Should we develop non-human minds that can eventually outgrow, obsolete, and replace us? Should we risk losing control of our civilization?” they wonder. “These decisions should not be delegated to unelected technology leaders. The most powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are sure that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” they settle.

The mandatory moratorium that they ask for the new advances should serve to “jointly develop and implement a set of shared security protocols for the design and development of advanced AI that are rigorously audited and supervised by independent external experts. These protocols must guarantee that the systems that comply with them are secure beyond a reasonable doubt”, they add.

The irruption of ChatGPT last November has spurred a race for artificial intelligence in which two of the world’s leading technology companies, Microsoft and Google, have decided to participate bare-chested. Both have incorporated this technology into their main tools, despite the fact that it has flaws and is still in an immature stage of its evolution, experts emphasize.

The letter has been signed by hundreds of experts and is currently open for signature by the rest of the population. At this time, it accumulates more than 1,100 signatures.

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