Microsoft’s Bill Gates rejects Elon Musk backed letter to pause AI

"I don't think asking one particular group to pause solves the challenges," said Gates.
Baba Tamim
Left: Bill Gates. Right: Elon Musk.
Left: Bill Gates. Right: Elon Musk.

Wikimedia Commons 

Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, has rejected a proposal to halt the development of potent artificial intelligence (AI). 

Earlier, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Twitter; Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple; Emad Mostaque, the founder and CEO of Stability AI, and over 1,100 other prominent technologists and experts signed an open letter urging a halt to AI development.

"I don't think asking one particular group to pause solves the challenges," Gates told Reuters on Monday, nullifying the idea. 

"Clearly there's huge benefits to these things…what we need to do is identify the tricky areas."

Gates emphasized the significant gaps in such a ban's implementation and added that it would necessitate support from businesses all over the world. 

He thinks that requesting that one particular group put its development on hold will not address the problems.

Gates acknowledged the conflicting views on the issue inside the tech sector, noting: "But there are a lot of different opinions in this area."

The open letter from last month stated that companies should immediately cease training any AI systems that would be "more powerful than GPT-4."

Thousands of influential people, including Musk, demanded immediate suspension in developing AI systems, with a minimum 6-month "moratorium," a temporary ban. 

However, critics have questioned if Musk's Tesla will stop developing its own AI technology, such as the Tesla Bot and interference chips for self-driving cars.

Elon Musk and Bill Gates feud 

Musk and Gates' recent feud began when Musk attacked Gates online, claiming the Bill and the Melinda Gates Foundation founder had only a "limited" understanding of AI.

This was in response to Gates' essay titled "The Age of AI Has Begun," in which he emphasized not only how the technology could improve the quality of life for vast swaths of the global population but also its dangers.

The race to enter the enormous language model game was followed by the letter. 

When OpenAI's ChatGPT debuted last year, it was hailed as a game-changer, but soon, the chatbot started instilling panic among workers that bots would take over their employment.

In January 2023, Microsoft made another $10 billion investment in OpenAI, and soon after, Bing, which uses OpenAI technology, was released. Bing had a rocky start due to "unhinged" conversations with users, which Gates blamed on users. 

Similarly, during its initial launch, Google's Bard AI made mistakes when answering questions, wiping over $100 off the company's market cap.

Meanwhile, Gates has warned that the world must establish ground rules so that any disadvantages of AI are far outweighed by its benefits. He believes that prohibiting AI development is not the best way to ensure that this balance is maintained.

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