All of a sudden, the consequences of technology are a problem.
An open letter signed by people who are upset they aren’t personally pioneering the AI frontier, and want to stall the head start of others until they can catch up or even figure out what to do about it:
Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization? Such decisions must not be delegated 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. This confidence must be well justified and increase with the magnitude of a system’s potential effects. OpenAI’s recent statement regarding artificial general intelligence, states that “At some point, it may be important to get independent review before starting to train future systems, and for the most advanced efforts to agree to limit the rate of growth of compute used for creating new models.” We agree. That point is now.
Therefore, 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.
Unsurprisingly, there don’t seem to be any official signatories from OpenAI or Midjourney, who are beating the pants off everyone else at an unforseen and unbelievable rate. It’s almost as if this isn’t a consensus.
The creative and intelligent were perfectly fine with technology enabling the offshoring of manufacturing jobs and ending other jobs, because it didn’t affect them. They can learn to code, they said. Well, now the shoe is on the other foot. Technology is poised to “take ‘r job” of perhaps many of those creative and intelligent people. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.