© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Tesla founder Elon Musk attends Offshore Northern Seas 2022 in Stavanger, Norway August 29, 2022. NTB/Carina Johansen through REUTERS
By Martin Coulter
LONDON (Reuters) -4 synthetic intelligence specialists have expressed concern after their work was cited in an open letter – co-signed by Elon Musk – demanding an pressing pause in analysis.
The letter, dated March 22 and with greater than 1,800 signatures by Friday, referred to as for a six-month circuit-breaker within the improvement of methods “extra highly effective” than Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s new GPT-4, which might maintain human-like dialog, compose songs and summarise prolonged paperwork.
Since GPT-4’s predecessor ChatGPT was launched final 12 months, rival corporations have rushed to launch comparable merchandise.
The open letter says AI methods with “human-competitive intelligence” pose profound dangers to humanity, citing 12 items of analysis from specialists together with college lecturers in addition to present and former workers of OpenAI, Google (NASDAQ:) and its subsidiary DeepMind.
Civil society teams within the U.S. and EU have since pressed lawmakers to rein in OpenAI’s analysis. OpenAI didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Critics have accused the Way forward for Life Institute (FLI), the organisation behind the letter which is primarily funded by the Musk Basis, of prioritising imagined apocalyptic eventualities over extra quick considerations about AI, equivalent to racist or sexist biases.
Among the many analysis cited was “On the Risks of Stochastic Parrots”, a paper co-authored by Margaret Mitchell, who beforehand oversaw moral AI analysis at Google.
Mitchell, now chief moral scientist at AI agency Hugging Face, criticised the letter, telling Reuters it was unclear what counted as “extra highly effective than GPT4”.
“By treating a whole lot of questionable concepts as a given, the letter asserts a set of priorities and a story on AI that advantages the supporters of FLI,” she mentioned. “Ignoring lively harms proper now could be a privilege that a few of us do not have.”
Mitchell and her co-authors — Timnit Gebru, Emily M. Bender, and Angelina McMillan-Main — subsequently revealed a response to the letter, accusing its authors of “fearmongering and AI hype”.
“It’s harmful to distract ourselves with a fantasized AI-enabled utopia or apocalypse which guarantees both a ‘flourishing’ or ‘probably catastrophic’ future,” they wrote.
“Accountability correctly lies not with the artefacts however with their builders.”
FLI president Max Tegmark advised Reuters the marketing campaign was not an try and hinder OpenAI’s company benefit.
“It is fairly hilarious. I’ve seen individuals say, ‘Elon Musk is attempting to decelerate the competitors,'” he mentioned, including that Musk had no position in drafting the letter. “This isn’t about one firm.”
Shiri Dori-Hacohen, an assistant professor on the College of Connecticut, advised Reuters she agreed with some factors within the letter, however took challenge with the way in which during which her work was cited.
She final 12 months co-authored a analysis paper arguing the widespread use of AI already posed severe dangers.
Her analysis argued the present-day use of AI methods might affect decision-making in relation to local weather change, nuclear warfare, and different existential threats.
She mentioned: “AI doesn’t want to succeed in human-level intelligence to exacerbate these dangers.
“There are non-existential dangers which are actually, actually essential, however do not obtain the identical sort of Hollywood-level consideration.”
Requested to touch upon the criticism, FLI’s Tegmark mentioned each short-term and long-term dangers of AI must be taken severely.
“If we cite somebody, it simply means we declare they’re endorsing that sentence. It doesn’t suggest they’re endorsing the letter, or we recommend all the pieces they assume,” he advised Reuters.
Dan Hendrycks, director of the California-based Middle for AI Security, who was additionally cited within the letter, stood by its contents, telling Reuters it was wise to think about black swan occasions – these which seem unlikely, however would have devastating penalties.
The open letter additionally warned that generative AI instruments could possibly be used to flood the web with “propaganda and untruth”.
Dori-Hacohen mentioned it was “fairly wealthy” for Musk to have signed it, citing a reported rise in misinformation on Twitter following his acquisition of the platform, documented by civil society group Widespread Trigger and others.
Musk and Twitter didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.