During an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday, LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman called Elon Musk and other tech executives’ call to slow down AI advances a “misguided effort.”

Hoffman believes that while some of the calls to slow down the development of AI chatbots like ChatGPT are “well intentioned” in the sense that it is essential to protect against the “downsides” of the technology, some executives are acting out of self-interest.

“I think some of it is less well-intentioned, like ‘Everyone else slow down, so I can speed up,'” Hoffman explained. “It’s an overall mistaken effort, I believe, because everything we’ve seen so far in terms of development is that the best ways to get safety are through larger scale models — they actually train to align better with human interests, and so the call to slow down is actually less safe.”

Musk, along with other tech titans such as Steve Wozniak, signed an open letter last month calling for a halt to AI research and warning that AI systems such as OpenAI’s GPT-4 pose a potential risk to humanity.

Both Musk and Hoffman contributed to the founding of OpenAI in 2015, but Musk departed the company’s board of directors in 2018 and has been critical of it ever since.

Hoffman resigned from OpenAI’s board of directors last month, claiming a conflict of interest stemming from his desire to invest in businesses that use OpenAI’s software. Hoffman stated at the time that organizations that use large language models, such as OpenAI’s technology, could become “future trillion-dollar companies.”

Related: ChatGPT Is About To Revolutionize The Economy. We Need To Decide What That Looks Like

FILE – The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output from ChatGPT, Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in Boston. Are tech companies moving too fast in rolling out powerful artificial intelligence technology that could one day outsmart humans? That is the conclusion of a group of prominent computer scientists and other tech industry notables who are calling for a 6-month pause to consider the risks. Their petition published Wednesday, March 29, 2023, is a response to San Francisco startup OpenAI’s recent release of GPT-4. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Hoffman, a PayPal Mafia member and longtime friend of Musk, thinks Musk’s motivation for signing the open letter is “well intentioned,” but it also reflects the Tesla CEO’s overall business mentality.

“Elon has a ‘I must build it with my own hands'” mentality, according to Hoffman. “You look at what amazing things he’s done with SpaceX and Tesla, and it has that ‘It’s only great if I do it’ vibe to it.”

Related: Word, Excel, And Outlook Will Soon Feature ChatGPT Technology Thanks To Microsoft

Meanwhile, Hoffman stated that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is more interested in involving “a lot of people” and having a more distributed company governance. Despite his lengthy friendship with Musk, Hoffman claims to be “much more on the path that OpenAI has gone” in terms of developing the technology.

Musk, Hoffman, and OpenAI representatives did not reply to requests for comment prior to publication.


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