business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From CNBC:

"Elon Musk and dozens of other technology leaders have called on AI labs to pause the development of systems that can compete with human-level intelligence.

"In an open letter from the Future of Life Institute, signed by Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, AI labs were urged to cease training models more powerful than GPT-4, the latest version of the large language model software developed by U.S. startup OpenAI."

The letter said, in part:

"“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.”

The institute said it was calling on all AI labs to “immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”

It is kind of rich that Musk, the guy who owns Twitter, is worried about information channels being flooded with propaganda and untruth.  What they're suggesting sounds like a reasonable idea, but for some reason I'm suspicious about their motivations.