Elon Musk and Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak among over 1,100 who sign open letter calling for 6-month ban on creating powerful A.I. 🤖
My perspective on the call to halt the development of AI technology is nuanced. On the one hand, I firmly believe in the ethical regulation of technology, and I advocate for new technologies to undergo the same level of scrutiny as our scientific advancements. This means conducting trials, peer reviews, and considering potential unintended consequences to ensure that we're progressing responsibly.
However, I have reservations about some of the individuals who have signed the letter calling for the halt of AI development. Some of them have contributed significantly to eroding the ability of democracies to function and have questionable ethics when it comes to regulation technology, which raises questions about their motivations. It's challenging to separate their call from self-interest. Out of all the names on the list, there is one whose insights I hold in the highest regard, and that is none other than Yuval Noah Harari.
Most importantly, our current institutions are not adequately designed to legislate for a digital economy, and our economic models and structures need to adapt to accommodate these changes. This raises the question: why now? I have spent most of my adult life discussing the impact of AI and automation on politics, society, and economics. To me, it feels like the culmination of twelve years of conversations with dismissive politicians, executives, and educators, even though it may seem like everything has happened in a flash to others.
In my opinion, an arbitrary ban that lacks a clear mandate for what needs to be resolved is not the answer in itself. AI is just the tip of the iceberg of the structural changes required to support the advancement of our society into the digital revolution. I remain sceptical that these signatories, as well as those with the power to legislate, would prioritise seeking a greater mandate to regulate digital innovations and reform legislative institutions in line with technological capabilities if it meant going against their self-interest, even if it would ultimately benefit the masses.
We need to have a more comprehensive approach that includes ethical regulation, responsible development, and adaptable economic structures to support the ongoing transformation.