Should we pause AI development for 6 months?

Since great leaders (like Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and Yuval Noah Hari) call for an immediate pause for AI development more powerful than GPT-4, the company I work for is stuck into a dilemma. As one of the larger AI labs in The Netherlands and Germany, we cannot ignore this signal. However, we feel like we have full control over our AI and its impact. And we feel that our society is in a strong need of specific more powerful AI like ours. Should 8vance also stop developing new algorithms for 6 months? We doubt so! What do you think?

In short: We’ve build AI to predict skills for jobseekers and vacancies. By comparing profiles and job descriptions to Millions of others, we can suggest the best matches objectively. This allows job switching to jobs that are more fulfilling, more fun, more educative, and require for instance less traveling. It also narrows societal gaps by allowing many people to enter our labour market that do not participate in yet, taking their abilities into account. Find your dream job, or use our platform to pick as many matching gigs as you like.

So looking at the concerns in this open letter, indeed our AI is more powerful than GPT-4. On the specific field of skills-matching we outrun this general technology. And indeed our technology is going to replace jobs, especially the intermediaries that do not use such technology. Our AI autonomously generates profile and vacancy information, that might not be completely true. However, the results are presented to humans. Recruitment decisions are never taken autonomously. We don’t feel like that with our technology we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us. And we’re definitely not at risk of losing of control of our civilization.

Besides this open letter does not reflect the current state of our AI and what we’re doing. Our models don’t approach AGI. We use some models developed by companies like OpenAI, Google, etc. and adapt it to our own purposes. We’re not in a position to make our own Large Language Model.

The pause also raises other questions; it’s a nice idea but will not work in practice? Is Elon Musk’s idea is politically motivated? Most companies will not adhere to a pause voluntarily, and it will probably just delay any development for 6 months (and then continue in the same way).

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