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Saturday, April 01, 2023

Pausing AI is a Bad idea. I agree.

Sure, we should allocate time to make it safer, and more useful.   But that is already happening.    Lets not let China and Russia get ahead.  Unless they are pausing too?  

Pausing AI is a Bad Idea.    By SpencerAnte   in  FastCompany

The gloves are coming off in the fight over the future of AI. 

On Tuesday, the Future of Life Institute, a futurist nonprofit backed by the Musk Foundation, published an open letter calling for a six-month pause on training AI systems more powerful than OpenAI’s leading GPT-4 service. 

“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” declares the letter, which has been signed by several thousand people, including Elon Musk himself, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, AI researchers Yoshua Bengio and Gary Marcus, and historian Yuval Noah Harari. “AI labs and independent experts should use this pause to jointly develop and implement a set of shared safety protocols for advanced AI design and development that are rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts.”

While there’s no doubt that AI should be developed in a way that is safe, responsible, and transparent, putting the most critical technology of our age in a timeout is an unviable solution that could weaken our country at a critical moment. 

For starters, it would be an unprecedented move, coming just when AI is beginning to show incredible promise after decades of unfulfilled hype. It would also be nearly impossible to enforce and a gut punch to innovation—the engine of our economy. 

While the letter has been signed by some notable AI experts, other AI researchers criticized the approach and said it overlooked harms and risks posed by current AI, like requiring more transparency of AI training data and decision-making of large language models. Computer scientist Andrew Ng, founder of Google Brain, called the moratorium “a terrible idea” on Twitter because government intervention would be the only possible way to enforce it. 

“I’m seeing many new applications in education, healthcare, food, . . . that’ll help many people. Improving GPT-4 will help,” he tweeted. “Let’s balance the huge value AI is creating versus realistic risks. To advance AI safety, regulations around transparency and auditing would be more practical and make a bigger difference.”

Imagine people asking Netscape, Microsoft, and Mozilla to stop the development of the Web browser back in the mid-1990s. Would that have been the right move to address real concerns about online child pornography and indecent speech? Absolutely not. Those issues were more effectively addressed by industry, lawmakers, the courts, and regulators, ultimately being resolved through a landmark Supreme Court decision that enshrined the value of free speech on the internet. 

Second, the U.S. is engaged in a competition with China to lead the AI market. Thanks to recent innovation of U.S.-based OpenAI, other U.S. multinationals like Microsoft, Google and Meta, and a bevy of startups, the U.S. may have retaken the lead in this race in which experts said China was ahead just a few years ago. But the pace of AI innovation is accelerating at a rate not seen since the boom of mobile computing. Consider that it took just under four months for OpenAI to release GPT-4 after its groundbreaking release of ChatGPT. 

If the U.S. and its leading corporations paused AI development for six months while China raced ahead, it would put our country at a disadvantage and create a potential opening for our primary global adversary. Imagine if China’s AI leapfrogged the US during this pause, and the long term harm that could bring to democracy and geopolitical security.    .... ' 

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