Richard Branson Signs Open Letter Calling to ‘Make AI a Force for Good’

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Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has joined the ranks of high-profile business people calling for regulation and caution when using and advancing AI technology.

On Thursday, the Elders (a group of “independent global leaders working together for peace, justice, human rights, and a sustainable planet”) and the Future of Life Institute published an open letter saying that the use of AI without governing its existence could be a threat to humanity and world peace.

“Governments can get to work now to agree how to finance the transition to a safe and healthy future … and start to build the global governance needed to make AI a force for good, not a runaway risk,” the letter reads.

Related: Richard Branson Says When Starting a Business Focus on This One Thing Instead of Money

The letter was co-signed by several world leaders and celebrities, including Max Tegmark (President of the Future of Life Institute), actress Cate Blanchett, and Jaan Tallinn (co-founder of Skype).

Though Branson is calling for regulation of AI, he has long since been a fan of the technology. Last April, the Virgin Group launched a campaign with Made by Dyslexia to show the possibilities if AI were to implement dyslexic thinking patterns in its technology.

“The rise of AI is truly remarkable. It is transforming the way we work, live, and interact with each other, and with so many other touchpoints of our lives,” Branson penned in the April 2023 letter. “However, while AI aggregates, dyslexic thinking skills innovate. If used in the right way, AI could be the perfect co-pilot for dyslexics to really move the world forward.”

Thursday’s follows one of a similar nature published last March by the Future of Life Institute that called for a halt to the potentially dangerous advancement of AI technology that could compete with human brainpower. That letter was co-signed by Elon Musk, who had previously opposed the advancement of AI technology before launching his own AI chatbot, Grok, on X.

Related: How to Use AI in an Ethical Way

“Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks, and we must ask ourselves: Should we let machines flood our information channels with propaganda and untruth?” the letter said. “If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium.”

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