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AI Development: Reflecting on the Six-Month "Pause" Letter

SASKTODAY's newest columnist, Shelly Palmer has been named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” and writes a popular daily business blog.

Six months ago, the Future of Life Institute (with endorsements from Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak) released an open letter advocating for a halt in advanced AI development. The immediate call wasn't adopted, but the letter's impact is evident.

Public sentiment shifted, with a rise in AI reservations, prompting action from global governments. The White House is now working on AI regulations – as are European and Chinese regulators – and the British government has scheduled a global AI safety summit for November 1-2, targeting "frontier AI." The Future of Life Institute's Anthony Aguirre sees this summit as a significant step in moderating AI development.

However, not everyone is as optimistic about the letter's effects; Inflection AI's Reid Hoffman believes the letter's authors might have compromised their standing within the AI developer community, calling their approach "virtue signaling."

The letter, while not achieving its immediate goal, has sparked a global AI safety conversation… but to what end?

As always your thoughts and comments are both welcome and encouraged. Just reply to this email. -s

P.S. If you want to form your own opinion on Generative AI – and what could or should be done about it – sign up for our free course Generative AI for Execs. It will help you understand the power and potential of the technology.



Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit

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