Sunday, July 21, 2024

Godfather Of AI Quits Google And Now Plans To Warn People About The Risk Of The Technology

When it comes to artificial intelligence, one name rings true, and it’s 75-year-old Geoffrey Hinton, who says he now regrets having devoted his career to AI.

Hinton, a pioneer in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), left his job at Google, where he worked for more than a decade, to be able to talk more freely about the dangers posed by the new technology.

Hinton, in an interview with the New York Times, said that he now regrets having devoted his career to this field but that he consoles himself with the normal excuse:” If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have”.

In 2012, Hinton and two of his graduate students at the University of Toronto, Ilya Sutskever and Alex Krishevsky, built a neural network that could analyse thousands of photos and teach itself to identify common objects, such as flowers, dogs and cars.

Google quickly jumped in to buy the company he and his two students had created for $44 million (€40.18 million). The move anticipated the great potential of a technology that has since led to the creation of AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

Sutskever, Hinton’s student, even went on to become chief scientist at OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.

Read Also: Federal Govt. Urges NCC To Issue Research Grants On Artificial Intelligence

Hinton’s resignation and warning come after more than 1,000 technology leaders and researchers signed an open letter in March calling for a six-month moratorium on the development of new AI systems, saying the technologies pose “profound risks to society and humanity”.

In Hinton’s view, work in this field should be halted until it is well understood whether it will be possible to control AI.

“It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” Hinton said in the interview, where he warns about the excessive speed at which advances are being made.

“Look at what it was like five years ago and what it’s like now, Take the difference and propel it forward. That’s scary,”

In the short term, Hinton fears that the Internet will be flooded with fake texts, photos and videos and that citizens may not be able to distinguish what is true.

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