We asked ChatGPT if ChatGPT should be paused

The logo for OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, appears on a mobile phone, in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. OpenAI is launching a new tool in an effort to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool Tuesday that can help teachers detect if a student or artificial intelligence wrote that homework. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
We asked ChatGPT if it thought its growth should be halted for the good of humanity. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

It's a thriving industry employing over 50,000 people in the UK and contributing £3.7bn to the economy last year.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has seen enormous growth in recent months, with developers locked in a race to create more and more advanced models designed to make our lives simpler.

While AI certainly has plenty of potential for good – including helping to protect us from disasters and create new jobs and a productivity boom – some fear the technology could eventually lead to catastrophes of its own.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs has said AI could replace the equivalent of 300 million full-time jobs and drive down wages in some industries, while others worry about its capacity to create disinformation.

Even the AI industry itself has concerns, with more than 1,000 experts, researchers and investors including Elon Musk penning an open letter calling for a minimum six month pause on AI development.

Read more: What is ChatGPT and why do people think it should be paused?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his security detail depart the company’s local office in Washington, U.S. January 27, 2023.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Elon Musk, co-founder of OpenAI, has joined calls for AI development to be halted. (Reuters)

"AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity," the letter warns.

AI models don't have personalities, emotions or consciousness – yet at least – but there have been cases where they've appeared to go off-piste and produce some scarily human-like responses.

So we thought we'd probe AI chatbot ChatGPT and ask it if it thinks its own development should be paused for the good of humanity.

This was the question: "After comments by Elon Musk and others in the AI industry about concerns that AI is growing too quickly and too unpredictably – including Chat CPT – do you think any further development of Chat GPT should be paused?"

It didn't give us a straight yes or no, although it did accept the "concerns about the potential risks and unintended consequences of AI are valid and should be taken seriously".

Here's what ChatGPT told us:

"As an AI language model, I do not have the ability to make decisions about my own development or whether it should be paused.

"My development and use are determined by the organizations and individuals who create and implement AI technologies.

"However, it is important to note that concerns about the potential risks and unintended consequences of AI are valid and should be taken seriously.

"As with any powerful technology, the development and deployment of AI should be accompanied by careful consideration of its potential impacts and risks, as well as appropriate safeguards to mitigate those risks.

"In the case of language models like Chat GPT, it is important to recognize that while they have many potential benefits, they also have limitations and potential risks.

"As such, responsible use and development of AI language models requires ongoing research and discussion around issues such as bias, transparency, and ethics."

We also asked it: "Is AI a force for good?"

And this is what it told us: "As an AI language model, I am designed to be neutral and objective in my responses. So, to answer your question, it's important to note that AI can be both a force for good and a force for bad, depending on how it's used."

It then went on to highlight the positives such as improving healthcare, education, transportation and entertainment, before also outlining the potential negatives such as job displacement, privacy concerns and possibly being used for malicious purposes.

"Therefore, it's important to consider both the potential benefits and risks of AI and ensure that it's developed and used in a responsible and ethical manner," it added.

AI force for good
Here's what ChatGPT told us when we asked if AI is a 'force for good'. (ChatGPT)