Eleven thousand years of human civilization
AI can learn everything we know
A Personal Appeal
Note: This is a personal appeal from Mark John Holland MD. Forgive me if it seems unprofessional or hysterical. Those of you who know me can attest that I am not an hysteric and I NEVER push causes on people and above all, not on patients. Until now. Please give this a bit of your time.
Mark Holland MD, April 17, 2023
If I may be forgiven the indulgence of rambling off-topic for a bit, AI is terrifying to me. It is terrifying precisely because it is so incredibly good at doing what I spent a college and post-graduate degree learning and a career perfecting: thinking about medicine and communicating it to other people. Now, in this otherwise mundane year of 2023, suddenly and seemingly without warning, a technology has arrived in the world that can do what took me sixty years to develop---it can do that--- in seconds (or perhaps minutes). In a few weeks, it can be trained (starting with a dumb machine) to write like a scholar and know a significant fraction of all the human knowledge that has taken our species eleven thousand years to accumulate. And GPT-4 is just the beginning. What happens when we develop a 'generalized AI' that can do everything we can do, everything that everyone can do and ever could do---can do ALL of it perfectly? What happens when my job is replaced by an AI? What happens when our children are taught by an AI? What happens when we decide that our children don't even need to bother with education because AI can already do and think anything they can do OR EVER WILL THINK OR DO?
If you don't know it yet, you need to know it. Alien intelligence has arrived on Earth. Soon it will be so much smarter than we are that none of us will be able to understand why or how it acts. And soon we may give up even trying. And "soon" means SOON. As in a few years---or God forbid---a few months or weeks. I fear that I may live to see people surrender the long race for understanding that has brought our species and our planet so much wealth and pain. And if we do that, we may be the 'masters' of our creations for a bit longer but soon and inevitably, we will become their slaves. And this isn't off in some far future. This is now. RIGHT NOW.
Elon Musk, Max Tegmark, many Nobel Laureates and founders of AI have just written a public letter pleading for a worldwide six-month pause in 'giant artificial intelligence research' everywhere on Earth because they too appreciate the danger. It is through many of these people that we got here and through them that we must now act. And it CAN be done. All governments have an interest in ensuring that AI doesn't destroy civilization. All people have the same interest. We did it with nuclear weapons and we can do it with AI.
AND we can enforce a pause... AI requires Giga-Watt consuming massive data centers that can be seen from space. Any government attempting to violate a ban would become known immediately. The human race can do this. We really can.
And we really must.
And it doesn't mean stopping progress. It means properly harnessing and regulating it. It won't take long to craft the rules. It can be done in six months. And it can work. It HAS worked for nuclear weapons.
Humanity arrived twice at civilization-ending technology. The first time was 1945. The second time is now.
Sign the AI Pause Letter:
Yoshua Bengio, Founder and Scientific Director at Mila, Turing Prize winner and professor at University of Montreal
Stuart Russell, Berkeley, Professor of Computer Science, director of the Center for Intelligent Systems, and co-author of the standard textbook “Artificial Intelligence: a Modern Approach"
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla & Twitter
Steve Wozniak, Co-founder, Apple
Yuval Noah Harari, Author and Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Emad Mostaque, CEO, Stability AI
Andrew Yang, Forward Party, Co-Chair, Presidential Candidate 2020, NYT Bestselling Author, Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship
John J Hopfield, Princeton University, Professor Emeritus, inventor of associative neural networks
Valerie Pisano, President & CEO, MILA
Connor Leahy, CEO, Conjecture
Jaan Tallinn, Co-Founder of Skype, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Future of Life Institute
Evan Sharp, Co-Founder, Pinterest
Chris Larsen, Co-Founder, Ripple
Craig Peters, Getty Images, CEO
Tom Gruber, Siri/Apple, Humanistic.AI, Co-founder, CTO, Led the team that designed Siri, co-founder of 4 companies
Max Tegmark, MIT Center for Artificial Intelligence & Fundamental Interactions, Professor of Physics, president of Future of Life Institute
Anthony Aguirre, University of California, Santa Cruz, Executive Director of Future of Life Institute, Professor of Physics
Sean O'Heigeartaigh, Executive Director, Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk
Tristan Harris, Executive Director, Center for Humane Technology
Rachel Bronson, President, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Danielle Allen, Harvard University, Professor and Director, Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics
Marc Rotenberg, Center for AI and Digital Policy, President
Nico Miailhe, The Future Society (TFS), Founder and President
Nate Soares, MIRI, Executive Director
Andrew Critch, Founder and President, Berkeley Existential Risk Initiative, CEO, Encultured AI, PBC; AI Research Scientist, UC Berkeley.
Mark Nitzberg, Center for Human-Compatible AI, UC Berkeley, Executive Directer
Yi Zeng, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor and Director, Brain-inspired Cognitive Intelligence Lab, International Research Center for AI Ethics and Governance, Lead Drafter of Beijing AI Principles
Steve Omohundro, Beneficial AI Research, CEO
Meia Chita-Tegmark, Co-Founder, Future of Life Institute
Victoria Krakovna, DeepMind, Research Scientist, co-founder of Future of Life Institute
Emilia Javorsky, Physician-Scientist & Director, Future of Life Institute
Mark Brakel, Director of Policy, Future of Life Institute
Aza Raskin, Center for Humane Technology / Earth Species Project, Cofounder, National Geographic Explorer, WEF Global AI Council
Gary Marcus, New York University, AI researcher, Professor Emeritus
Vincent Conitzer, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Oxford, Professor of Computer Science, Director of Foundations of Cooperative AI Lab, Head of Technical AI Engagement at the Institute for Ethics in AI, Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, Computers and Thought Award, Social Choice and Welfare Prize, Guggenheim Fellow, Sloan Fellow, ACM Fellow, AAAI Fellow, ACM/SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award
Huw Price, University of Cambridge, Emeritus Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, FBA, FAHA, co-foundor of the Cambridge Centre for Existential Risk
Zachary Kenton, DeepMind, Senior Research Scientist
Ramana Kumar, DeepMind, Research Scientist
Jeff Orlowski-Yang, The Social Dilemma, Director, Three-time Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker
Olle Häggström, Chalmers University of Technology, Professor of mathematical statistics, Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Science
Michael Osborne, University of Oxford, Professor of Machine Learning
Raja Chatila, Sorbonne University, Paris, Professor Emeritus AI, Robotics and Technology Ethics, Fellow, IEEE
Moshe Vardi, Rice University, University Professor, US National Academy of Science, US National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Adam Smith, Boston University, Professor of Computer Science, Gödel Prize, Kanellakis Prize, Fellow of the ACM
Marco Venuti, Director, Thales group
Erol Gelenbe, Institute of Theoretical and Applied Informatics, Polish Academy of Science, Professor, FACM FIEEE Fellow of the French National Acad. of Technologies, Fellow of the Turkish Academy of Sciences, Hon. Fellow of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hon. Fellow of the Islamic Academy of Sciences, Foreign Fellow of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters of Belgium, Foreign Fellow of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Member and Chair of the Informatics Committee of Academia Europaea
Andrew Briggs, University of Oxford, Professor, Member Academia Europaea
Laurence Devillers, à Sorbonne Université/CNRS, Professor d'IA, Légion d'honneur en 2019
Nicanor Perlas, Covid Call to Humanity, Founder and Chief Researcher and Editor, Right Livelihood Award (Alternative Nobel Prize); UNEP Global 500 Award
Daron Acemoglu, MIT, professor of Economics, Nemmers Prize in Economics, John Bates Clark Medal, and fellow of National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, British Academy, American Philosophical Society, Turkish Academy of Sciences.
Christof Koch, MindScope Program, Allen Institute, Seattle, Chief Scientist
Gaia Dempsey, Metaculus, CEO, Schmidt Futures Innovation Fellow
Henry Elkus, Founder & CEO: Helena
Gaétan Marceau Caron, MILA, Quebec AI Institute, Director, Applied Research Team
Peter Asaro, The New School, Associate Professor and Director of Media Studies
Jose H. Orallo, Technical University of Valencia, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, Professor, EurAI Fellow
George Dyson, Unafilliated, Author of "Darwin Among the Machines" (1997), "Turing's Cathedral" (2012), "Analogia: The Emergence of Technology beyond Programmable Control" (2020).
Nick Hay, Encultured AI, Co-founder
Shahar Avin, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge, Senior Research Associate
Solon Angel, AI Entrepreneur, Forbes, World Economic Forum Recognized
Gillian Hadfield, University of Toronto, Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society
in the hands of inhuman unconscious robots...
except its own reasons to value life
The Aliens are Here
we built them...
Pause Artificial Intelligence Research