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'Doomsday Clock' Ticks: Elon Musk, Experts Warn of 'Catastrophic Scenario', Suggest a 'Pause' of A.I.


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The 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.

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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.

Watch his comments:

“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.

“What if you’re North Korea and what if you decide either by theft or by your own innovation that now is the time to do what you’ve been threatening to do forever,” he said. “That’s the catastrophic scenario. That’s the apocalypse.”

Moore mirrored other issues raised in the Future of Life Institute letter, including the potential for AI to lead to mass unemployment.

The faith leader also highlighted the importance of including religious leaders and people of faith in these conversations, noting ethicists and faith leaders are often excluded.

“For too long, faith has been a blind spot in Silicon Valley,” Moore said, noting a friend in the tech industry recently encouraged him to speak out and engage in this issue.

Moore was careful to note he’s a big fan of technology, innovation, and science, and wants to embrace such advances. Still, he believes it’s essential to do so “intentionally” and without allowing “blind commercial self-interest or the bad guys” to lead the charge or manipulate AI.

“I’m calling on religious leaders … this is not a ‘boycott AI conversation,'” he said. “I’m joining my voice with Elon Musk, I’m joining my voice with those 1,000 scientists, and I’m asking religious leaders and ethicists all around the country … let’s all say now is the time to get together and to ask the preemptive questions.”

Moore believes America is leaps and bounds ahead on AI technology and can afford to pause and figure out the details before moving forward in a united and comprehensive way.

“All those science fiction movies you’ve watched, we’re about to live in it, short of the aliens,” Moore said. “And all the good and the bad of it is going to be realized by us. The decisions we make now will determine the lives our children will enjoy — and this is the moment to press pause to gather together.”

Watch the above discussion.

***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

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