A petition directed by Elon Musk to suspend AI development divides the tech community

Brian Armstrong stated that technological advancements should not be halted due to the concerns of a minority.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, were among the more than 2,600 tech industry executives and researchers who signed an open letter. The open letter demanded a temporary suspension of artificial intelligence (AI) development.

The petition expressed concern that artificial intelligence with human-competitive intelligence can pose grave risks to society and humanity. It urged all AI companies to “immediately cease” constructing AI systems more potent than GPT-4 for at least six months. OpenAI’s GPT-4 is a multimodal, large language model that is the fourth in the GPT series.

Despite its widespread support, the petition has divided the greater tech community over the halting of developments. The CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, was among the notable figures who opposed the petition.

Armstrong stated in a tweet that “committees and bureaucracy won’t solve anything,” adding that there are no “experts” designated to decide on this issue, and not everyone in the tech industry supports the petition.

Armstrong emphasized that all new technologies pose risks but that the objective should be to move forward. He added that centralization of decision-making would be detrimental.

Armstrong tweeted, “Never let fear stop progress, and be wary of anyone attempting to seize control in a central authority.”

A columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Brian Merchant, referred to the petition led by Elon Musk as an “apocalyptic AI hype carnival” and stated that many of the expressed concerns are “robot jobs apocalypse” related.

Satvik Sethi, a former Web3 executive at Mastercard, referred to the petition as a “non-proliferation treaty for AI.” He added that many of the petition’s prominent signers have a vested personal interest in AI and are likely “attempting to slow down their competitors to gain an advantage.”

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