Image credit : University of Toronto
The development of this technology, according to eminent scientist Geoffrey Hinton, who is frequently cited as one of the main pioneers of AI, poses a greater threat to civilization than climate change. He recognizes that there is a risk from climate change, but he thinks that the risks from AI are significantly worse.
“I wouldn’t like to devalue climate change. I wouldn’t like to say, ‘You shouldn’t worry about climate change.’ That’s a huge risk too,” he told Reuters last week. “But I think this might end up being more urgent.”
Hinton, who is regarded as one of the “godfathers” of AI, recently left his job at Google so that he could launch his own platform to promote awareness of the dangers of AI without being constrained by his former employer.
In order to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT software, which had been released in November of the previous year, Google in March introduced their own AI chatbot, called “Bard.” Despite this, Hinton has asserted that he thinks Google has handled AI technology responsibly.
Hinton’s remarks follow a recent warning about the potential repercussions of an unchecked AI arms race in Silicon Valley from a number of important players in the tech sector, including Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter.
The open letter, which Musk and other prominent members of the tech sector co-signed, emphasized the serious difficulties that “human-competitive intelligence” poses in a number of domains, including employment and information sharing. The letter suggested creating an independent regulator to keep an eye on the quickly changing technical landscape, as well as a six-month moratorium on the creation of AI technology that is more advanced than ChatGPT.
After being released last year, ChatGPT grew at the fastest rate ever, gaining over 100 million users in just two months.
Hinton told Reuters that because the answer is to cease using carbon, combating climate change is quite simple. With AI, it’s less obvious what steps must be taken to reduce its risks.
Also read : Why ‘Godfather of AI’ decided he had to ‘raise the alarm’ on the tech he made? Geoffrey Hinton says
“With climate change, it’s very easy to recommend what you should do: You just stop burning carbon,” Hinton said. “If you do that, eventually things will be OK. For this, it’s not all that clear what you should do.”
Hinton disagrees with the open letter’s suggestion to merely pause research. Instead, he advises allocating resources to researching ways to lessen the dangers posed by AI, which he calls a “existential risk.”
US President Joe Biden recently met with executives from Google and Microsoft and urged them to give safety precautions for AI programs top priority before they are implemented. The White House characterized the conversation as “frank and constructive.”