One of the “Godfathers of AI,” Geoffrey Hinton, recently left his job at Google so he could speak freely about AI and its possible implications. In an interview with The New York Times, Hinton mused that part of him regretted his work in AI, and that he has reservations about how it may be used in the future.
“I console myself with the normal excuse: If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have,” Hinton said. “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things.”
In the interview, Hinton noted that, as a Google employee for over a decade, he had no qualms with how the company pursued and developed its AI technology. It was when Microsoft came out with a competing technology, challenging Google, that he became concerned. The Turing Award-winning computer scientist worries that the escalation of these competing technologies will result in a world where it will be impossible to tell ‘what is true anymore.’
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
In addition to the spreading of misinformation, Hinton is concerned that AI will result in massive job losses for people.
“The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that. 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.”
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