Why that open letter urging an AI development pause is problematic

Per Axbom
1 min readMar 30


How to stop AI harm. Pause development of GPT-5 for six months. Boom. You’re welcome!

Applied ethics isn’t a checklist. It’s about putting in the time and effort to understand risks to wellbeing with the express intent of avoiding, mitigating and monitoring harm. It makes sense then to assume that the open call to pause AI development is a good thing. Well, yes — but no.

Let’s talk about some things that are going on with the touted open letter signed by the likes of Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Yuval Noah Harari, Andrew Yang, Gary Marcus and Tristan Harris. More than an open letter it is in many ways a letter of misdirection. And who authored it exactly?

Some points brought up in this story

  • The host organisation
  • Essentially no mention of all the current harm
  • Boosting the idea of sentience
  • Misleading citations
  • The choice of “6 months”
  • We vs. they

Read the full post:



Per Axbom

Making tech safe and compassionate through design, coaching and teaching. Independent consultant. Co-host of UX Podcast. Primary publication: axbom.com