Artificial Intelligence | May 15, 2023
Geoffrey Hinton regrets his work. The “Godfather of AI” has announced in an interview with the New York Times that he is leaving Google to be able to “speak freely about the dangers of artificial intelligence”.
Hinton is one of the great pioneers in artificial intelligence and helped create one of its essential techniques: deep learning, by which machines are able to learn from their own experience. Along with Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio, Hinton was awarded the Turing Award in 2018.
But after many years as a major figure in artificial intelligence, now at 75 years old, Hinton has decided to retire and adopt a much more critical position towards the field he helped create.
“We will no longer be able to know what is true,” Hinton explains. Despite leading AI research at Google, which he joined in 2013 after the acquisition of his company DNNresearch, Hinton acknowledges that the pace of AI progress is much greater than what they had anticipated.
“I used to think it was 30 to 50 years away. It’s not anymore.” This is Hinton’s response to the fact that AI may become more intelligent than humans, something that not long ago seemed very far-fetched but now seems very feasible.
In an interview with the BBC, Hinton explains that some of the dangers of AI are “really scary.” He warns that some individuals could use this tool for nefarious actions.
“You can imagine, for example, some bad actor, like Putin, decides to give the robots the ability to set their own secondary objectives. And one of those secondary objectives might be to get more power.”
Hinton’s departure from Google adds to the trend of many experts warning about the risks of AI. But without a doubt, we are facing the most reputable voice that has decided to take the step.
Regarding Google, he states that the tech giant has done things “very responsibly,” but he says that by not working for them anymore, he will be able to say things with greater credibility.