Geoffrey Hinton, widely known as the “godfather of Artificial Intelligence”, has spoken out about the dangerous future of technology after quitting his job from Google.
Hinton, 75, who worked at Google for more than a decade and developed popular AI systems such as ChatGPT, resigned from the company, saying he now regretted his work as the ‘tech expert.’
Warning about the dangers of AI chatbots, he told The New York Times. “I console myself with the normal excuse: If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have.”
Hinton admitted that he now fears the technology will mean that people will “not be able to know what is true anymore” because of the proliferation of fake images, videos and text.”
He went on to explain that in the future, AI systems could eventually learn unexpected, dangerous behaviour, and that such systems will eventually power killer robots.
Hinton also sound alarms that the technology could cause harmful disruption to the labour market. “The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that,” he said.
“But most people thought it was way off. And I thought it was way off. I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away. Obviously, I no longer think that.”
Hinton warned that regulation is required to ensure that companies such as Google and Microsoft do not get locked into a dangerous race. Those companies might already be working on dangerous systems in secret, he suggested.
“I don’t think they should scale this up more until they have understood whether they can control it,” he said.
Hinton is among a few artificial intelligence experts to warn about the dangers of the technologies that they have built.
Recently, two major open letters warned about the “profound risks to society and humanity” that it poses, and were signed by a number of the people who had helped create the technology.
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