Musk signed an open letter to call on Generative AI must pause immediately – is Generative AI threatening human?

Space X, Tesla and Twitter’s CEO Elon Musk has expressed concerns about artificial intelligence for years. Musk said he tried to convince everyone to slow down research on artificial intelligence and regulate it, but unfortunately, no one listened.

In March 2023, more than 1,000 artificial intelligence experts and industry executives including Elon Musk signed an open letter published by the non-profit Future of Life Institute. The letter calls on all artificial intelligence labs to pause for at least six months to prevent the development of systems which is more powerful than the GPT-4 launched by OpenAi. The letter represented that artificial intelligence systems are bringing irreparable risks to humans and society, and the continued lack of management development may lead to artificial intelligence that cannot be predicted and controlled by humans. This letter has been signed by more than 30,000 people by today.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is the most typical representative of generative AI. It is an artificial intelligence system developed by OpenAi and can communicate with humans through dialogue. The content it generates can answer questions, write stories and even write articles based on a topic.

ChatGPT-3.5 is now free for everyone to access and has very extensive authoring capabilities. ChatGPT-3.5 can do everything from writing a simple poem to a complete physics research paper in seconds and can generate multiple answers in case of dissatisfaction. The successful development of generative artificial intelligence has seriously challenged the subjective writing ability of human beings. This type of artificial intelligence is still approaching human writing style.

ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence” by focal5 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Risks brought by Generative AI

Helberger and Diakopoulos (2023) mentioned that generative AI such as ChatGPT is challenging the current risk-based approach in AI bills. This is because generative artificial intelligence has a powerful language model, which is used by hundreds of people to write answers to various questions, including but not limited to scripts, mathematical problems, judgment events, and so on resulting in unpredictable risks.

At the same time, as the system is constantly updated, the Artificial Intelligence Act is also constantly being adjusted. Currently, in the Artificial Intelligence Act, the risk classification of artificial intelligence systems is divided into high risk, low risk and general risk. Traditional artificial intelligence determines whether the system is high-risk or low-risk based on the user’s usage. However, since we cannot determine the specific purpose of generative artificial intelligence, there may be potential bias or privacy violations. Therefore, when it cannot be ruled out whether generative artificial intelligence is used in high-risk areas, generative artificial intelligence is classified into high-risk categories.

RCZ_1330” by collision.conf is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

In June 2023, Geoffrey Hinton, the godfather of artificial intelligence, made it clear at the Collision Technology Conference held in Toronto that artificial intelligence technology has huge risks. Hinton has spoken more freely about the risks posed by artificial intelligence since quitting his job at Google. Hinton mentioned in his speech that unemployment, prejudice, and discrimination are all potential existential risks faced by humans caused by the rapid development of artificial intelligence models.

When generative AI like ChatGPT begins to replace white-collar jobs like clerical work, we should predict that AI will soon demonstrate reasoning capabilities. However, people are still ignoring warnings about the risks of artificial intelligence.

Generative AI begins to replace some jobs

As generative AI systems advance, this new technology is already beginning to replace some jobs. Generative artificial intelligence is favored by people because of its extremely low cost and high efficiency in completing tasks. A study released in April this year showed that future jobs will be strongly disrupted by artificial intelligence. About two-thirds of U.S. occupations will be exposed to AI automation, and about 25% to 50% of the workload in these occupations will be replaced by AI (Ponce Del Castillo, 2023). It can be seen from this research that artificial intelligence is profoundly affecting the work of today’s society and changing the nature of work for some people.

Furthermore, the upgraded generative artificial intelligence can not only generate text but also possess the unique creativity and invention of humans. All creative work tasks will be affected to varying degrees. This is because if a company can use low-cost generative AI to perform tasks that are as good as those created by humans, then the company will no longer recruit workers to work. Humans and artificial intelligence will compete with each other for this job. It can be seen that the labour market will become chaotic.

Different voices from the public

On the other hand, although generative artificial intelligence brings challenges to mankind, it also brings opportunities to various fields. Its learning speed is very fast, and it promotes model development by upgrading the algorithm and training with large amounts of text data (Pawan Budhwar et al., 2023). Generative artificial intelligence has now been applied in many fields such as business, education, medicine, and creation, and has demonstrated the importance of generative artificial intelligence collaboration to humans (Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah et al., 2023).

For example, in education, students could use generative AI to assist with information retrieval or improve writing skills. Some students said that generative artificial intelligence can provide assistance in writing in non-native languages and become an auxiliary tool (Chan & Hu, 2023). Teachers can use generative artificial intelligence to develop teaching plans, improve teaching experience and efficiently complete review papers and so forth (Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah et al., 2023). Studies have shown that ChatGPT, as a paper scoring tool, has demonstrated reliable reliability and accuracy (Chan & Hu, 2023). In addition, generative AI can provide tailored feedback for each individual, making it a useful tool in the education field.

In the field of academic research, generative artificial intelligence has changed the way of research and accelerated interdisciplinary research. When starting a new project, generative AI can accurately find relevant research from thousands or hundreds of academic journals in a short time. Researchers do not need to spend weeks on background data collection, but can focus on analysis. Generative AI can also provide clear summaries of lengthy academic literature in seconds, so researchers don’t have to be slowed down by complicated jargon and complex articles. Moreover, researchers no longer have to waste time checking grammar and word spelling, as generative AI can automatically correct it.

Generative AI: Unlocking the infinite possibilities of the future?

To summarise, the open letter signed by Elon Musk and numerous experts highlights the potentially irreparable risks that AI systems pose to humanity. Generative AI challenges existing regulatory frameworks due to its unpredictability and powerful language models. This requires a re-evaluation of how we classify AI risks and privacy issues, especially given its evolving nature. Supervising and managing the development of artificial intelligence is a very urgent matter right now. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Hinton’s stark warnings about the social impacts of artificial intelligence, including job losses and discrimination, should set off alarm bells. The disruptive power of generative AI on the job market is already evident, and its potential to replicate human creativity further complicates the workforce landscape.

While generative AI poses challenges, it also offers opportunities in various fields. Its speed, efficiency and adaptability make it a valuable tool for education and academic research, changing the way we access and process information. In today’s society where artificial intelligence is rapidly developing, we must strike a balance between fulfilling its role and addressing its risks through regulatory and social considerations. The limit of a tool is always depending on the hands holding it.

Musk signed an open letter to call on Generative AI must pause immediately – is Generative AI threatening human? © 2023 by Youxin Cheng is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Reference List

CBC News: The National. (2023, March 30). Elon Musk, tech experts call for pause on AI development.

Chan, C., & Hu, W. (2023). Students’ voices on generative AI: perceptions, benefits, and challenges in higher education. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 20(1).

Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah, Zheng, R., Cai, J., Siau, K., & Chen, L. (2023). Generative AI and ChatGPT: Applications, challenges, and AI-human collaboration. Journal of Information Technology Case and Application Research, 25(3), 1–28.

Future of Life Institute. (2023, March 22). Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter. Future of Life Institute.

Helberger, N., & Diakopoulos, N. (2023). ChatGPT and the AI Act. Internet Policy Review, 12(1).

Hughes, A. (2023, September 26). ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about OpenAI’s GPT-4 tool.

Jones, B. M. (2023, September 28). How Generative AI Tools Help Transform Academic Research. Forbes.

Narayan, J., Hu, K., Coulter, M., & Mukherjee, S. (2023, March 29). Elon Musk and others urge AI pause, citing “risks to society.” Reuters. (2023, April 18). Elon Musk’s dire warning about AI on Joe Rogan resurfaces.

OpenAI. (2022, November 30). Introducing ChatGPT. OpenAI.

Osborne, S. (2023, March 29). Elon Musk and experts say AI development should be paused immediately. Sky News.

Pawan Budhwar, Chowdhury, S., Wood, G., Aguinis, H., Bamber, G. J., Beltran, J. R., Boselie, P., Fang Lee Cooke, Decker, S., DeNisi, A., Prasanta Kumar Dey, Guest, D., Knoblich, A. J., Malik, A., Paauwe, J., Savvas Papagiannidis, Patel, C., Pereira, V., Ren, S., & Rogelberg, S. (2023). Human resource management in the age of generative artificial intelligence: Perspectives and research directions on ChatGPT. Human Resource Management in the Age of Generative Artificial Intelligence: Perspectives and Research Directions on ChatGPT, 33(3), 606–659.

Ponce Del Castillo, A. (2023). Generative AI, generating precariousness for workers? AI & SOCIETY.

Siddiqui, T. (2023, July 4). Risks of artificial intelligence must be considered as the technology evolves: Geoffrey Hinton. Faculty of Arts & Science.