Artificial intelligence has advanced rapidly in recent years, making strides in everything from detecting cancer to language translation.

But a darker side of the technology is coming into focus, and tech industry leaders are calling for a pause on AI development, saying should if it advances at its current rate, it will get out of control.

Upwards of 1,500 people, including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, signed a letter asking for a six-month pause on all AI development.

Danielle Allen, professor and director of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, was among the signatories.

She said on Greater Boston that AI is starting to perform at such a high level, layoffs could be expected in the tech sector. Allen added another concern, that AI can be used to impersonate anyone with a digital footprint.

"We are already living in a world that is drowning in misinformation, it's about to get worse. That's the really scary thing," Allen said.

Allen said it's time for governments to step up for a global convention and establish a pause. That would help to maximize the benefits of AI while putting in guardrails to diminish potential harm.

Watch: Artificial intelligence is developing at an alarming rate. Tech leaders want an immediate pause