According to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, merely advocating for a cessation in the advancement of artificial intelligence won’t address the impending hurdles that come with the technology’s progress. This marks his first public statement since a controversial open letter stirred a conversation about the future of AI. Gates suggests that it’s more productive to explore how we can utilize AI to its fullest potential rather than trying to implement a pause in its development, which he argues may be impractical on a global scale.
The Microsoft co-founder sat for an interview with Reuters that discussed the implications of an open letter, co-signed by over 1,000 AI experts, including Elon Musk, that called for a critical halt in the advancement of systems that surpass Microsoft-supported OpenAI’s latest creation, GPT-4, capable of engaging in human-like conversations, composing music, and summarizing extensive documents.
The group, including Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, emphasized the need to assess the potential risks and benefits to society, as stated in their letter.
“I don’t think asking one particular group to pause solves the challenges,” Gates said Monday, according to Reuters.
“Clearly there are huge benefits to these things… what we need to do is identify the tricky areas,” he added.
During the interview, he also stated that implementing a pause in the given circumstances would pose complex enforcement issues. “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 said, as per Reuters.
Microsoft has made substantial investments worth billions of dollars in OpenAI, the owner of ChatGPT, in a bid to surpass its competitors. Bill Gates, currently engaged in philanthropic activities under the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been an ardent supporter of AI and considers it as revolutionary as the Internet or mobile phones. In his blog post titled “The Age of AI has Begun,” he emphasized the potential of AI to alleviate some of the world’s most significant disparities.