Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said today that pausing the development of AI will not solve future challenges in the field. This is the first time Bill Gates has made a public statement since Tesla CEO Elon Musk and other thousands of technologists issued an open letter and sparked a big discussion about the future of artificial intelligence.
Last week, thousands of technologists, including Elon Musk, published an open letter calling for a moratorium on training AI systems more powerful than GPT-4. The open letter says all AI labs should immediately suspend training AI systems stronger than GPT-4 for at least six months. Otherwise, the government should step in and take coercive measures.
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In response, Bill Gates said in an interview today that a moratorium on development doesn’t really solve the problem. Instead, figuring out how to optimally leverage developments in the field of artificial intelligence is the hard truth. And a true global moratorium on AI technology doesn’t seem very realistic.
Bill Gates added: “I don’t think asking a particular group to suspend development of AI technologies is going to solve the challenges involved. Obviously, they’re practical. What we need to do is identify the tough problems and solve them.
Currently, while Bill Gates is fully focused on his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has been an optimistic proponent of AI, describing it as as revolutionary as the Internet or cell phones.
On March 21, Bill Gates also wrote on his blog, GatesNotes, that the age of artificial intelligence had begun and predicted how it would change areas such as jobs, climate change, health care and education.
But then (last Monday), Elon Musk threw cold water on Bill Gates’ comments. Elon Musk tweeted, “I’ve discussed AI with Bill Gates before and he has a very limited understanding of the technology. To this day, it remains so.”
In fact, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have long been just tit-for-tat, looking down on each other. In February, Bill Gates said he would rather fund vaccines to save lives than spend money to go to Mars.
In fact, it’s quite expensive to go to Mars,” he said. Instead, you can buy a measles vaccine and save a life for $1,000.” Bill Gates also said that Elon Musk is not a great philanthropist, at least so far.
And Elon Musk has said, “Honestly, my conversations with Bill Gates have been tasteless.”