Tech Leaders Can’t Stop Jabbering About AI Safety Pause, Coinbase CEO Disagrees

It looks like the tech industry can’t stop debating whether or not AI development should be paused for safety reasons. The controversial topic struck a chord with tech industry leaders, with everyone from Max Tegmark to Elon Musk weighing in on the matter.

Recently, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong added his own two cents and disagreed that AI lab development should be paused — but why?

Max Tegmark and the Pause Argument

A few days ago, MIT professor and AI safety advocate, Max Tegmark, stirred the AI safety debate when he argued that AI labs should pause development until regulatory structures can ensure that AI is benefiting humans. He said:

“We should press the ‘pause’ button on algorithms that affect millions until we understand their safety.”

Tegmark’s point resonated with a lot of tech influencers such as Jaan Tallin, Elon Musk and Google’s Mustufa Rahin, all of whom supported the call for a safer approach when it comes to AI regulations.

But Wait, Brian Armstrong Disagrees?

Brian Armstrong originally showed his support for Tegmark’s comments, but later backtracked and said that the development of AI should not be paused in “any meaningful way”. Armstrong said:

“The world needs to get benefits from this before major harms happen due to significant shifts in labour and automation. We’ll get to safety eventually, but I’m not ready to press the pause button right away.”

The Debate Continues

Now, the tech world has new ammo in the never-ending debate of “should AI development be paused”. While some believe that it is necessary for the safety of humans and the environment, others, like Armstrong, believe that progress is too important to delay.

We’ve highlighted below some valid points in the discussion:

  • FOR: Pausing AI development could save us from major risk in the future, and technology should be developed in a safe and ethical manner.
  • AGAINST: We can safely develop AI technology as we go and pause would slow innovation, as well as delay important benefits that AI can bring to the world.

All we can say is, this debate isn’t going to end any time soon. After all, how do you solve a problem like AI safety? Well, it’s the million dollar question BILLION dollar question!