Elon Musk urges AI production to halt due to potential threat to humanity
Less than 24 hours ago, Elon Musk, along with many other key figures in the tech world, have beseeched AI developers to cease production out of fears over the potential threat to humanity.
Apple Co-founder, Steven Wozniak, along with several researches and developers at DeepMind, another Artificial Intelligence company based in the UK, have also agreed to Elon's request, and signed. In the letter, Musk writes, "powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable."
The main AI software generating the most alarm is, unsurprisingly, ChatGPT. It recently released yet another new, and drastically more advanced version of its software which gives it the ability to answer questions about objects in images, whether they be hand drawn, photographed, etc.
At the World Government Summit in Dubai, Elon Musk informed those in attendance: "one of the biggest risks to the future of civilisation is AI."
Elon and ChatGPT History
OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, was co-founded by Sam Altman in 2015 as a non profit organisation, with Elon serving as the public face of the operation. It's well documented that Altman and Musk clashed repeatedly back in 2018 when Musk was apparently displeased with the lack of progress in developing ChatGPT during its early stages, and wanted it to be able to compete with tech giants such as Google.
After conflicting interests continued to rise, Musk left the company in 2018, and OpenAI turned into a 'for profit' company in 2019.
This begs the question, is Elon Musk truly concerned for the future of humanity, or is he more concerned that a company he walked away from will soon eclipse something of his own doing?
It's worth noting that Tesla has been working on a slew of AI programs not just for their cars, but for humanoid robots as well, the most recent introduction to this being his theatrical, albeit scary looking, human dressed as a robot back in 2021, named Optimus (whether or not it will be able to transform into a giant tow-truck remains to be seen).
The inclusion of robots and AI into our future seems inevitable, but to what extent, if any, should we be genuinely worried?
Does Elon, along with Steve Wozniak and the brainiacs at DeepMind truly believe that AI poses a threat to humanity, or have they merely joined forces to defeat a common enemy?
ChatGPT Banned in Italy
As of today, March 31, 2023, ChatGPT is now banned in Italy. Italian data protection authorities have announced that it will block and investigate the software over privacy violations, as it does not cater to any legal basis and can therefor collect data in any way it sees fit simply to provide an answer.
In lieu of this, perhaps Elon's open letter does in fact come from a good place? It will be interesting to see what happens in the rest of Europe, as OpenAI does not have an office in the EU.