NEWS2 May 2023

Geoffrey Hinton quits Google and warns of dangers of AI

AI News North America Technology

US – Dr Geoffrey Hinton, an artificial intelligence (AI) researcher known by some as the “Godfather of AI”, has quit Google and warned of the dangers of the technology.

Google HQ

Hinton, 75, had worked at Google for more than a decade, and has worked on AI and neural networks since the 1970s, receiving, alongside two long-time collaborators, a Turing Award in 2018 for his work on the subject.

Speaking to the New York Times (NYT), Hinton warned that the power of new AI tools and the speed of their growth meant that there should be a pause in further development of the tools until more research has been carried out into their potential impact.

“I don’t think they should scale this up more until they have understood whether they can control it,” he said.

Hinton told the NYT that AI tools were beginning to outstrip his original predictions about their performance.

“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 said he also has misgivings about whether structures could be put in place to prevent the use of AI for ill.

“It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” he told the NYT.

Hinton’s comments follow recent concern about the growth of AI tools such as ChatGPT and their potential impact on society.

In March, more than 1,000 technology leaders and researchers signed an open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on the development of AI systems because of the risks to society and humanity that the technology poses.