Elon Musk, along with more than 1,000 other tech leaders, called for a halt to the development of artificial intelligence in an open letter that warned of “profound risks to society and humanity.”

The letter asked A.I. labs for a pause in rolling out systems more powerful than GPT-4, the chatbot introduced this month by OpenAI, which Musk co-founded. The pause would provide time to implement “shared safety protocols” for A.I. systems, the letter said. “If such a pause cannot be enacted quickly, governments should step in and institute a moratorium,” it added.

A.I. developers are “locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one — not even their creators — can understand, predict or reliably control,” the tech leaders wrote.

The letter, released by the nonprofit Future of Life Institute, was also signed by Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, and Rachel Bronson, the president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Context: Experts are worried that bad actors could use A.I. to spread disinformation and that people will rely on these systems for medical and emotional advice. The tools have been criticized for getting details wrong.

U.S. elections: A.I. is already affecting the 2024 elections in the U.S., producing fake images of Donald Trump getting arrested and videos that mimic President Biden’s voice.

For more: Our On Tech newsletter looks at some of the ways chatbots can go awry.