Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has stated that calls to halt the development of artificial intelligence will not “solve the challenges.”
In his first public comments, since an open letter sparked a debate about the future of technology, he told Reuters that the age of AI has begun.
The technologist-turned-philanthropist stated that it would be better to focus on how to best use AI developments, as it was difficult to see how a pause could work globally.
His interview with Reuters comes after an open letter co-signed by Elon Musk and more than 1,000 AI experts, published last week, demanded an immediate halt in the development of systems “more powerful” than Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s new GPT-4, which can hold human-like conversations.
In the letter, the experts, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, stated that the potential risks and benefits to society must be assessed.
“I don’t think asking one particular group to pause solves the challenges,” Gates said on Monday.
“Clearly there’s huge benefits to these things… what we need to do is identify the tricky areas.”
Microsoft has attempted to outpace competitors by making multibillion-dollar investments in ChatGPT owner OpenAI.
While currently focusing on the philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has been a vocal supporter of AI, describing it as “as revolutionary as the Internet or mobile phones.”
In a blog titled “The Age of AI has Begun,” published a day before the open letter on March 21, he stated that he believes AI should be used to help reduce some of the world’s worst inequities.
He also stated in the interview that any pause would be difficult to implement.
“I don’t really understand who they’re saying could stop, and would every country in the world agree to stop, and why to stop,” he said. “But there are a lot of different opinions in this area.” he added.