Activist group Pause AI calls for halting development of AI models

by alex

Activists fear existential catastrophe due to AI

On Monday 13 May, a group of 20 people took to the street outside the London headquarters of the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology to express their stance against the development of large artificial intelligence models. The protesters are part of an activist group called Pause AI seeking to force companies to pause the development of large AI models that they fear could pose a threat to the future of humanity.

The Pause AI website says: «AI – it is a powerful technology that is increasingly changing our world. It carries colossal potential, but also serious risks, including existential catastrophe.

Journalist Garrison Lovely, commenting on the X action in New York near the Microsoft office, noted that most passers-by ignored the protest, but those who paid attention supported the activists. The most common opinion was that the development of AI was inevitable.

New Pause AI protests are planned in San Francisco, New York, Berlin, Rome, Ottawa and other cities. While the group has intentions, the organization of its protests has left some unsure if this is the best way to get its message across.

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According to Wired, there are numerous discussions on the protesters' Discord channel about what methods are best to use. When discussing whether sit-ins would be organized, one group member was reported to have said, «Probably not. After all, we do what we must for the future of humanity while we still can.

Leaders of the protest group Pause AI said they are not yet considering actions such as sit-ins or camps outside the offices of AI companies. One of the leaders said: “Our tactics and methods are very moderate. I want Pause AI to become a moderate base for many organizations in this space. I am sure that we will never condone violence. Another leader added: «I sincerely hope that we do not have to take other actions and I do not expect that we will need to. I don't feel like a person who can lead a movement that is not completely legal».

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