PauseAI protest @ Parliament Square - June 8th

  • PauseAI protest, urging Rishi Sunak to implement a pause on AI development.
  • Where: Parliament Square, London
  • When: 8th of June, 4 PM - 6 PM

Press Release

On Thursday, June 8th, volunteers from the new PauseAI movement will gather in Parliament Square, London to urge the UK government to take the lead on pausing the development of more powerful and dangerous AI systems.

A rapidly increasing number of AI experts signed a statement last week that reads:

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

This has been signed by virtually all AI labs (OpenAI, Google DeepMind, Anthropic) and hundreds of AI scientists including Geoffrey Hinton, the “Godfather of AI”.

AI safety researchers have not reached on consensus on how large the risk of human extinction will be. Results from the “Existential risk from AI survey” show that estimates range from 2% to 98%, with an average of 30%.

Rishi Sunak has stated that the “Government is looking very carefully at this” and that “the UK is well-placed to lead” the global collaboration on safe AI development. The UK is home to some of the world’s leading AI labs, including Google DeepMind, and has a high concentration of AI safety researchers. Yesterday, on June 7th, the UK government announced that it will be hosting the first global AI summit this autumn.

The protesters are urging Rishi Sunak to take the lead on global AI safety and pause the development of more dangerous AI systems, whilst leading the way to democratic control over the development of AI. They are asking him to prioritize the Pause on the summit . Pausing AI development is a different approach from what the AI lab CEOs that Rishi Sunak has spoken with have suggested. OpenAI believes that “it would be unintuitively risky and difficult to stop the creation of superintelligence” , so they are pursuing further development toward superintelligence.

“We have a choice: do we risk everything to build a superintelligence that the public was never consulted on, or do we stop while we still can?” - PauseAI protesters

“AI companies are putting everything at risk; we’re already seeing the damage, and it will get far worse. Technology development is not inevitable, and pausing should be considered a feasible option. We can’t cede the future to a few CEOs who acknowledge they are willing to risk humanity for their dreams. We all deserve a say on our future, and a global pause gives us that chance.”

“Despite acknowledging the dangers of continued AI development, these companies are merely using it as an excuse to carry on, and seem to refuse to voluntarily give up this dangerous power. In such situations, global collaboration in reigning in this dangerous development is key so that we make sure technology development works for all. The UK is well-placed to take a lead on this, by organising a global summit to pause AI and bring AI development under democratic control.”

“We may not have the luxury of time. AI developments are happening at a frantic pace, and we need to act now to prevent the worst-case scenarios. The summit in autumn could be even too late to prevent the worst. We urge Rishi Sunak to halt AI developments before the summit. Even if only the UK and the US agree to pause until the summit, we will have made a huge step towards preventing the worst-case scenarios.”

The PauseAI protesters have concrete agenda suggestions and policy proposals for the summit.

For more information, please visit PauseAI.info .