As 'Doomsday Clock' Ticks, Musk Warns of 'Catastrophic Scenario'

Unsplash photoThe startling pace at which artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are growing is sparking alarm, discontent and concern among analysts, with some of Silicon Valley's most prominent names rising up to call for a pause before such advances propagate severe societal damage.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has joined Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and countless other prominent names to sign an open letter from the Future of Life Institute calling on AI companies to "pause giant AI experiments" and create safety protocols.

"AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity, as shown by extensive research and acknowledged by top AI labs," the letter reads. "Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth? Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?"

The letter urges a six-month pause on large-scale AI projects and for "safety protocols" to be put in place. The Rev. Johnnie Moore echoed the importance of this sentiment in a Wednesday tweet.

"For the good of humanity, all the interested parties need to convene a summit NOW in the US, to set parameters & consult with thinkers across the political & ideological spectrum (including especially religious leaders and ethicists, & people from between the coasts)," he wrote.

Moore expounded upon this discussion during an interview with CBN's Faithwire, noting the importance of paying attention when people like Musk who are on the "bleeding edge of technology" publicly encourage such a sweeping slowdown.

"I think we ought to pause, and I'm not sure that the general public yet really understands how all of their lives will change, and could potentially change, because of this new technology," Moore added.

The author and faith leader heralded the transformative and positive benefits AI could bring society, noting the technology could usher in better health, longer lives and other solutions. But he also warned of what can happen if AI is left unrestrained or is harnessed by unscrupulous world governments.

March CM Cover"If we're not careful, we could unleash a beast," Moore said. "Imagine governments in a race towards autonomous weapons. ... We could be moving into a world where the machines make the decisions for themselves."

Such a situation calls into question how to approach the ethics of war and other such mechanisms predicated upon human emotion. For instance, minimizing casualties is often attempted in modern wars, though others might use such technologies for a different outcome.

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Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2022 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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