Geoffrey Hinton, known as “The Godfather of A.I.,” left internet giant, Google, to warn about the potential dangers of A.I., which is sooner than later than expected.
Dr. Hinton believes that AI systems have the potential to become much more dangerous than how we perceive them to be, as companies race to improve them. “Look at how it was five years ago and how it is now, take the difference and propagate it forward. That’s scary,” he said in an interview with The New York Times.
He also mentioned that tech giants are locked in a competition in furthering their technology that might be impossible to stop.
His primary worry with AI is that there would be an abundance of misleading images, videos, and text on the internet, making it impossible for the average individual to discern what is real.
“It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” he said.
He is also worried that it can take over jobs like paralegals, personal assistants, translators, etc., and how the future of this technology can pose a threat to humanity by being solely independent in running codes on their own.
Though many other experts say these threats are hypothetical, Dr. Hinton believes that the endless race between tech giants will grow into an international competition that will continue without any kind of global control.
“I console myself with the normal excuse: If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have,” Dr. Hinton said.
In 2012, Dr. Hinton, along with students, Ilya Sutskever and Alex Krishevsky, developed a neural network that could examine hundreds of photographs and train itself to recognize common items like cars, pets, and flowers – which Google bought for $44 million.
Their technology gave way for new chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard, an AI model with the ability to respond to complex questions, write poetry, generate code, plan vacations, and translate languages, to be made along with other, more potent technologies.
Hinton received his Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence in 1978 from Edinburgh and has been working half-time at Google between Mountain View and Toronto since 2013. He is also a member of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
More than 1,000 technology experts and researchers signed an open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on the creation of new systems after OpenAI launched a new version of ChatGPT in March – they believe AI technology poses “profound risks to society and humanity.”
Wherein, days later, 19 current and former leaders of the AAAI released a letter warning about the risks of AI. Dr. Hinton states that he did not sign those letters as he didn’t want to criticize the companies until he resigned from his post on Google.
On May 1, Dr. Hinton clarified in a tweet that he didn’t leave Google so he could criticize the company, but instead, so he could talk about the dangers of AI without having to consider how it’ll impact the company.
In the NYT today, Cade Metz implies that I left Google so that I could criticize Google. Actually, I left so that I could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google. Google has acted very responsibly.
— Geoffrey Hinton (@geoffreyhinton) May 1, 2023
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