Software | March 31, 2023

Should we really take a moment and pause big AI initiatives?

A few days ago we became aware of the Open Letter “Pause Giant AI Experiments”, signed by important figures in the technology industry. The letter warns about the risks that Artificial Intelligence systems present to our societies and humanity as a whole. It is also a request for a “pause” on the experiments being conducted in various laboratories with these technologies until an appropriate planning and change management can be achieved.

Given the uncertain scenario that the IT industry is facing regarding AI, we talked to Rodrigo Falcó, CTO of Patagonian, to give his opinion on the matter and what would be the most appropriate solution.

Should we take a moment to reflect and pause?

I believe the answer is affirmative.
The possible repercussions of AI rapid pace and transformations we face are difficult to predict.
Failing to implement protective measures and allowing society to adjust could be not only disruptive but also hazardous.
A significant majority, perhaps 95% or more, remain unaware of the ongoing revolution, and even fewer are ready to face it.
Necessary alterations to governance demand time for deliberation, consensus, and execution. Government involvement is unlikely to be swift.

Is a pause agreeable?

The concept of pausing appears to be a constructive approach, although its feasibility remains uncertain. Determining how to reach a consensus on limiting growth rates and establishing an appropriate pace presents challenges. Additionally, it is difficult to restrain competition among companies seeking market domination or those driven by profit.
Such a notion contradicts the principles of capitalism and, to some extent, conflicts with democracy, competition, and progress.
A worldwide competition is underway to develop the swiftest, largest, and most proficient AI systems.

How long should the pause last?

Numerous concerns and questions arise from this idea. Determining the duration of the pause, who would be responsible for overseeing it, and how to assess systems that are not yet fully understood are all challenging issues.

Ultimately, we are at a unique juncture in history, and neglecting to reflect on how best to steer our course could result in severe future consequences. What is intended to improve our lives could potentially have long-lasting detrimental effects on humanity.

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