Musk’s push to halt AI development makes no sense unless China is on board, GOP senator says

The top Republican on the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus warned Wednesday that pausing the development of AI technology could raise “national security” concerns on the same day that top tech industry giants called for a pause. In an open letter earlier in the day, tech industry giants like Tesla founder Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called on AI labs “to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems” more advanced than the latest chatbot known as GPT-4. But Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., who leads the Senate AI caucus, disagreed. “Unless China, the Communist Party in China, is prepared to show evidence that they’re going to do the same thing, I’m afraid then that we would be restricting our ability to move forward with AI for a period of six months while China does not,” Rounds told Fox News Digital. AI EXPERTS WEIGH DANGERS, BENEFITS OF CHATGPT ON HUMANS, JOBS AND INFORMATION: ‘DYSTOPIAN WORLD’ He explained that while he believes the push for a moratorium is endorsed by “really bright people,” it could leave the U.S. at a “six months to a year disadvantage” against U.S. adversaries, which he said would pose a challenge to U.S. national security. “That does concern me. At the same time, I know that, in their letter, they didn’t say that they couldn’t improve the existing structures within existing AI, and I get that. I’m just not sure that it’s enforceable with our adversary or peer competitors in the rest of the world,” Rounds said.  ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ‘GODFATHER’ ON AI POSSIBLY WIPING OUT HUMANITY: ‘IT’S NOT INCONCEIVABLE’ “These are really bright people that have signed on to this. Maybe they think that they have the advantage,” Rounds said. “I’d like to hear their logic … the reasoning for why they’re suggesting it right now, and what they hope to accomplish in six months.” Rep. Jay Obernolte, R-Calif., who has led efforts to open pathways for the U.S. to improve its military capabilities through AI, concurred that such a delay could put the country at a disadvantage. “The benefits to society will almost certainly far outweigh the costs, but it is critically important that we protect Americans from the misuse of AI systems while still enabling the industry to grow and innovate,” Obernolte told Fox News Digital. “Unfortunately, arbitrarily halting development of artificial intelligence is unlikely to solve these problems because unscrupulous actors seeking economic gain and adversaries seeking competitive advantage will certainly continue its development, exacerbating the potential disruption to our economy and our national security.” SENS. ROUNDS, JOHNSON TAKE ON ATF, INTRODUCE BILL TO EXPAND FULL-TIME TRAVELERS’ GUN OWNERSHIP RIGHTS Some of Rounds’ colleagues were more willing to get behind the tech industry’s bid to slow AI development. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., told Fox News Digital the American AI sector should be “cautious.” “When you have … some of the leading voices in tech ringing the alarm bells, saying that we need to figure out what the implications of this are gonna be for humanity before we impose another science experiment on the children in this country … we should be cautious,” the Democrat said. Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, deferred to the experts warning about AI’s potentially harmful capabilities. “The one thing I’d say is that if Elon Musk and Wozniak and some of these people who know the computing industry better than anybody else are saying that we should be cautious, I’m inclined to agree with them. Because these guys know what they’re talking about,” Vance told Fox News Digital. The letter, published by Future of Life, warned that “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.” Failure to do that could “risk loss of control of our civilization,” it claims.
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