Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong has publicly disagreed with an open letter published by the Future of Life Institute on March 29, titled “Pause Giant AI Experiments: An Open Letter.” The letter calls for a temporary halt to developing powerful AI systems like GPT-4, sparking a debate within the tech community.

The open letter states, “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.” The authors call for a public and verifiable pause of at least six months on training AI systems more powerful than GPT-4. They also urge AI labs to develop shared safety protocols to ensure AI systems’ safe design and development.

Among the notable signatories of the open letter are Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter; Steve Wozniak, Co-founder of Apple; Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft; and Gary Marcus, AI researcher and Professor Emeritus at New York University.

However, Coinbase Co-Founder and CEO Brian Armstrong took to Twitter to express his disagreement with the letter, stating, “Count me among the people who think this is a bad idea.” He argued that there are no “experts” to adjudicate the issue and that many disparate actors will never agree. Armstrong further stated, “Committees and bureaucracy won’t solve anything.”

Armstrong went on to advocate for continued progress in technology development despite potential dangers. He asserted, “As with many technologies, there are dangers, but we should keep marching forward with progress because the good outweighs the bad. The marketplace of ideas leads to better outcomes than central planning.” He concluded by warning against letting fear stop progress and the potential for central authorities to control development.

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