On Wednesday, the Future of Life Institute published an open letter on its website calling on AI labs to “immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.” Signed by Elon Musk and several prominent AI researchers, the letter quickly began to draw attention in the press—and some criticism on social media.
Earlier this month, OpenAI released GPT-4, an AI model that can perform compositional tasks and allegedly pass standardized tests at a human level, although those claims are still being evaluated by research. Regardless, GPT-4 and Bing Chat’s advancement in capabilities over previous AI models spooked some experts who believe we are heading toward super-intelligent AI systems faster than previously expected.
Along these lines, the Future of Life Institute argues that recent advancements in AI have led to an “out-of-control race” to develop and deploy AI models that are difficult to predict or control. They believe that the lack of planning and management of these AI systems is concerning and that powerful AI systems should only be developed once their effects are well-understood and manageable. As they write in the letter: