Elon Musk, Twitter CEO and OpenAI co-founder, recently called for a six-month break on the development of artificial intelligence (AI) systems more powerful than GPT-4, claiming it poses a substantial risk to society.

In an open letter, by the Future of Life Institute, a non-profit partly funded by the Musk Foundation, the group said: “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.”

“Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete, and replace us?” the letter read.

The letter was signed by over 1,000 people, however, the CEOs of Alphabet and Microsoft, Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella, notably did not sign, Reuters reported.

The stark warning comes after OpenAI recently unveiled the fourth version of their smash hit GPT AI Program – allowing users to create original songs, in-depth essays, and have human-like conversations.

The rapid growth of the program has left businesses racing to release their own versions – sometimes with damning results. For example, Bard, Google’s newly announced GPT rival, had a factual error in its first demo – and managed to get into some questionable conversations with users.

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By GlobalData

The rapid development in AI tech has left regulators racing to stay on top of things. At the end of March, the UK government published a regulatory framework hoping to govern the upward trajectory of AI safely.

Despite the rush to ensure legislation is put in place surrounding emerging AI technology, experts have been speaking out in support of Musk’s warnings – claiming they shouldn’t be ignored.

“The UK’s pro-innovation framework on AI regulation is a positive step towards global leadership in AI development and collaboration with international investors,” Claire Trachet CEO and founder of business advisory, Trachet, told Verdict.

“However, the recent concerns raised by Elon Musk and other industry experts on the potential risks of AI systems that can outperform GPT-4 must also be taken into account,” she added.

The more widespread generative AI becomes, the more its risks seem to worry experts.

“Generative AI is making our interactions with chatbots incredibly natural and convincing,” Alexey Khitrov, founder and president, of ID R&D, told Verdict.

He added: “Paired with voice and face deep fakes, the technology could be used to deceive people into giving away their hard-earned money or sensitive data, to establish synthetic identities, and to break into bank accounts.”