This post is an attempt to summarize the crucial considerations for an AI pause and AI pause advocacy. It is also a promotion for the International PauseAI protest, 21 October, the biggest AI protest ever, held in 7 countries on the same day. The aim of this post is to present an unbiased view, but obviously that may not be the case.You can check out the EA Forum event page for the protest here.
This is the only question where I'm confident enough to say the answer is clearly "no". The remaining question is whether a pause would decrease the risk.
A meta consideration that depends on the answers to the previous questions:
If alignment research just needs more time to progress and we're currently on the cusp of AGI, then it might be worth risking hardware overhang in order to gain that time. If alignment research progress depends upon having advanced AI then hardware overhang could mean we miss the most crucial time for alignment research.
While it is important to consider whether a pause would be good, this does not necessarily determine whether pause advocacy and protests are good. For example, while a pause might be bad due to hardware overhang, it might be good to call for a pause, because it will force companies to try harder on safety. Or conversely, a pause might be good because it gives us time to do alignment research, but pause advocacy might make companies hostile to x-risk concerns.
Another meta consideration:
Perhaps PauseAI protests are not really about advocating for a pause so much as communicating the severity of the risk of AI. In which case it might be better for AI activists to focus on a different message . On the other hand perhaps "Pause AI" is the most accurate way to convey our beliefs when we are trying to send a message to the entire world.
What you cannot do is not decide. You will either attend the protest or not.
The International PauseAI protest will be held on 21 October in 7 countries.
Thanks to Gideon Futerman for feedback on this post.
Check out the LessWrong event here: https://www.lesswrong.com/events/ZoTkRYdqGuDCnojMW/global-pause-ai-protest-10-21