Too far, too fast: Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak on list calling for curbs on AI development

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak calls AI a race that’s out of control. Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Jake Rudnitsky

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts, industry leaders and researchers are calling on AI developers to hit the pause button on training any models more powerful than the latest iteration behind OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

More than 1,100 people in the industry signed a petition calling for labs to stop training powerful AI systems for at least six months to allow for the development of shared safety protocols.

Prominent figures in the tech community, including Twitter owner Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, were listed among the signatories, although their participation could not be immediately verified.

“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,” said an open letter published on the Future of Life Institute website.

“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.”

The call comes after the launch of a series of AI projects in the last several months that convincingly perform human tasks such as writing emails and creating art. Microsoft-backed OpenAI released its GPT-4 this month, a major upgrade of its AI-powered chatbot, capable of telling jokes and passing tests like the bar exam.