In a signed open letter, more than 1,120 executives—including Twitter and Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak—are asking artificial intelligence (AI) developers to put a pause on any “giant AI experiments” until there’s better understanding—and control—over how this powerful technology will be used, as well as the risks associated with it.
“AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity, as shown by extensive research and acknowledged by top AI labs,” states the letter, published by the Future of Life Institute, a nonprofit organization that contends “the way powerful technology is developed and used will be the most important factor in determining the prospects for the future of life,” according to its mission statement.
The letter went on: “Unfortunately, this level of planning and management is not happening, even though 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.”
Racing to Innovation
Organizations are rushing to get the most innovative AI and machine learning systems out into the real world but don’t have a firm understanding of how this technology will work or how they can effectively manage it. Even the developers and creators behind these tools are rushing into getting something out as soon as possible instead of proceeding with caution.
The open letter asks for a six-month pause on “anything more powerful than GPT-4,” and it notes that if the pause won’t be authorized, then governments will need to mandate a pause.
“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,” the letter states. “These protocols should ensure that systems adhering to them are safe beyond a reasonable doubt. This does not mean a pause on AI development in general, merely a stepping back from the dangerous race to ever-larger unpredictable black-box models with emergent capabilities.”
Impact on FIs
Financial institutions are among the many sectors leveraging AI and machine learning as the space continues along a digital transformation. From search functions to curation, AI will certainly change how consumers interact with FIs.
In a recent Javelin report, 2023 Digital Banking Trends & Predictions, analysts Mark Schwanhausser and Emmett Higdon explained how AI will push FIs to rethink tools such as chatbots and virtual assistants among their offerings.
As we see more FIs and banks making their dent in the AI race, ensuring that proper protocols are in place—particularly for an industry that handles sensitive consumer information and is prone to fraud—will be critical.
The full letter can be read here.