Properly, that didn’t occur, clearly.
I sat down with MIT professor Max Tegmark, the founder and president of FLI, to take inventory of what has occurred since. Listed below are highlights of our dialog.
On shifting the Overton window on AI danger: Tegmark advised me that in conversations with AI researchers and tech CEOs, it had turn into clear that there was an enormous quantity of hysteria concerning the existential danger AI poses, however no person felt they may talk about it overtly “for worry of being ridiculed as Luddite scaremongerers.” “The important thing aim of the letter was to mainstream the dialog, to maneuver the Overton window so that folks felt protected expressing these considerations,” he says. “Six months later, it’s clear that half was a hit.”
However that’s about it: “What’s not nice is that each one the businesses are nonetheless going full steam forward and we nonetheless haven’t any significant regulation in America. It appears like US policymakers, for all their discuss, aren’t going to go any legal guidelines this 12 months that meaningfully rein in essentially the most harmful stuff.”
Why the federal government ought to step in: Tegmark is lobbying for an FDA-style company that may implement guidelines round AI, and for the federal government to pressure tech corporations to pause AI improvement. “It’s additionally clear that [AI leaders like Sam Altman, Demis Hassabis, and Dario Amodei] are very involved themselves. However all of them know they will’t pause alone,” Tegmark says. Pausing alone could be “a catastrophe for his or her firm, proper?” he provides. “They only get outcompeted, after which that CEO can be changed with somebody who doesn’t need to pause. The one approach the pause comes about is that if the governments of the world step in and put in place security requirements that pressure everybody to pause.”
So how about Elon … ? Musk signed the letter calling for a pause, solely to arrange a brand new AI firm known as X.AI to construct AI programs that may “perceive the true nature of the universe.” (Musk is an advisor to the FLI.) “Clearly, he needs a pause identical to quite a lot of different AI leaders. However so long as there isn’t one, he feels he has to additionally keep within the recreation.”
Why he thinks tech CEOs have the goodness of humanity of their hearts: “What makes me assume that they actually desire a good future with AI, not a foul one? I’ve identified them for a few years. I discuss with them commonly. And I can inform even in personal conversations—I can sense it.”
Response to critics who say specializing in existential danger distracts from present harms: “It’s essential that those that care quite a bit about present issues and those that care about imminent upcoming harms work collectively somewhat than infighting. I’ve zero criticism of people that deal with present harms. I feel it’s nice that they’re doing it. I care about these issues very a lot. If individuals have interaction in this type of infighting, it’s simply serving to Huge Tech divide and conquer all those that need to actually rein in Huge Tech.”