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Bill Gates says pausing the development of AI systems will not ‘solve’ challenges ahead, days after Musk and others cautioned about ‘risks to society’ from the tech

Bill Gates onstage in front of a black background.Bill Gates doesn’t think a call to halt advanced development for six months would be easy to enforce.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

  • Bill Gates said he didn’t think a halt on advanced AI development for six months is practical.
  • He told Reuters he didn’t think such a pause would help solve challenges in the sector.
  • His comments came a week after an open letter called for a six-month pause on advanced AI development.

Two of the biggest names in tech seem to be disagreeing over artificial intelligence, or AI.  

While Elon Musk called for a six-month pause on the advanced development of AI and to take a step back from a “dangerous race,” Bill Gates doesn’t think this is the way to go.

“I don’t think asking one particular group to pause solves the challenges,” the Microsoft co-founder told Reuters in an interview Monday. 

He made the comment a week after Elon Musk and 1,125 others, including AI experts, signed an open letter calling for a six-month pause on advanced development of the tech. The letter, issued by the non-profit Future of Life Institute, has garnered about 9,400 signatures so far.

The letter warned “AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” and added to the ongoing discussion about ethics and other concerns surrounding advanced AI — which has come to the fore of public debates since the viral success of generative text bot ChatGPT.

But Gates said he didn’t think the suggested pause would be easy to enforce. “I don’t really understand who they’re saying could stop, and would every country in the world agree to stop, and why to stop,” he told Reuters.

Gates’ comments to the news agency also came two weeks after he published a seven-page letter titled “The Age of AI has Begun” on his blog, wherein he said: “The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone.” In 2019, Microsoft invested $1 billion in ChatGPT creator OpenAI and recently announced plans to invest further into the company, Insider’s Grace Kay reported.

Gates, however, isn’t the only high-profile voice cautioning about pausing AI development.

Last week, billionaire investor Bill Ackman warned that shutting down AI development for six months would allow bad actors six more months to catch up to current technology.

“Our enemies are working hard to develop their own OpenAI. It would have been a mistake to delay the Manhattan Project and let the Nazis catch up. I don’t think we have a choice,” Ackman tweeted on March 31.

—Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) March 30, 2023


Bill Gates did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment sent via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation outside regular business hours.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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