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News blog4 April 2023European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency2 min read

Tech leaders are calling for a pause on AI – Toblerone could lose its iconic Swiss mountain logo



Tech leaders signed an open letter calling for a pause on training AI

An open letter calling for a six-month pause in advanced AI development has been signed by Elon Musk and more than 1,000 people, including AI experts.

The letter, published on 22 March 2023, called on AI labs to pause on any technology more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-4, which was launched on 14 March 2023, according to the non-profit Future of Life Institute. If the pause “cannot be implemented quickly”, the letter also called on governments to step in and impose a moratorium.

The non-profit organisation said the development of high-performance AI systems should only proceed “if there is a confidence that its impact will be positive and its risks are manageable”. It cited the spread of misinformation and the widespread automation of jobs as potential risks to humanity and society.

The letter called for the creation and implementation of a set of common safety protocols for AI development, which would be overseen by independent experts.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque, Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp, researchers from Alphabet AI lab DeepMind, and prominent AI professors also signed the letter.

The letter accused AI labs of being “locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy” high-performance technology. The launch of OpenAI’s viral chatbot, ChatGPT (we commented about ChatGPT on February, 20 2023), has apparently been the catalyst for a number of other companies to launch a number or competing AI products. The newest OpenAI product, GPT-4, is praised for being more creative and intelligent than its popular forerunner. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI even stated that “the new technology is capable of passing the bar exam and scoring a 5 on several Advanced Placement exams”.

The open letter from the Future of Life Institute said the 6-month break was not about pausing AI development in general, but rather stepping back from the “dangerous race”.

Knowing the importance that AI is taking in our everyday lives and in the current IP debates, we will very much pay attention to this topic!


Toblerone chocolate could lose its iconic Swiss mountain logo

This week in branding news: Mondelez International Inc., the US parent company that owns the chocolate brand, is moving some of Toblerone’s production to Slovakia, meaning that the chocolate will not comply anymore with the Switzerland’s legal definition of “Swissness”.

In 2017, Switzerland indeed approved a law to protect “Swissness”. Accordingly, milk and dairy products labelled “Made in Switzerland” must have 100% of their raw materials sourced from within the country. However, there are exceptions for raw materials that cannot be produced in Switzerland (such as cocoa).

The use of Swiss symbols, including those that refer to a geographical area, is also covered by the law. This means that the Matterhorn mountain can no longer appear on Toblerone’s products, after more than 50 years on the packaging.

The same goes for the “Made in Switzerland” label, which will have to be removed from the packaging. “We will be relaunching the Toblerone packaging from this summer, saying the brand is “established in Switzerland”, stated a Mondelez spokesperson.

“For legal reasons, we have to adapt our packaging to the Swissness legislation. This includes removing the Swissness statement on the front of the Toblerone packaging”, Mondelez said in a statement. The snack food giant added that it will continue to produce some chocolate bars in Bern.

Let’s see what happens in the end, but it is possible we will buy Toblerone with a different image next time.


Publication date
4 April 2023
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency