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‘Godfather of AI’ & Nobel Laureate quits Google while warning about risks of AI

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‘Godfather of AI’ & Nobel Laureate quits Google while warning about risks of AI-GadgetAny
Geoffrey Hinton

Geoffrey Hinton, (Image credit : University of Toronto)

Geoffrey Hinton, who shared the 2018 Turing Award with two other so-called “Godfathers of AI” for his groundbreaking work that sparked the present artificial intelligence boom, admits that he now has mixed feelings about his life’s work. According to a 75-year-old interview with Hinton published in The New York Times, Hinton recently left his position at Google so that he could talk openly about the dangers of AI.

“I console myself with the normal excuse: If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have,” said Hinton, who had been employed by Google for more than a decade. “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things.”

Image credit : The Digital Speaker

According to the NYT, Hinton spoke with CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday after giving Google notice of his resignation last month. No specifics of that conversation were made public.

The lifelong scholar joined Google after the search giant bought out the business founded by Hinton, two of his students, and one of them who later rose to the position of top scientist at OpenAI. After studying tens of thousands of images, Hinton and his students created a neural network that taught itself to recognize familiar items like dogs, kittens, and flowers. These efforts were ultimately responsible for the development of ChatGPT and Google Bard.

Image credit : The World Economic Forum


Until Microsoft introduced the new OpenAI-infused Bing, which posed a threat to Google’s core business and prompted a “code red” response within the search giant, Hinton, according to the NYT interview, was pleased with Google’s management of the technology. According to Hinton, such ferocious competition may be hard to quell, leading to a society filled with so much phony imagery and text that no one will be able to discern “what is true anymore.”

Google’s chief scientist, Jeff Dean, worked to soften the blow with the following statement: “We remain committed to a responsible approach to AI. We’re continually learning to understand emerging risks while also innovating boldly.”

Also read : Google’s AI Chatbot Bard Draws Criticism from Employees for Being a “Pathological Liar”

Only the spread of false information worries Hinton right now. On a longer time scale, he fears that if AI starts to create and execute its own programming, it will replace rote employment and possibly even mankind.

“The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that,” said Hinton to the NYT. “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.”

Awanish Kumar

By Awanish Kumar

I keep abreast of the latest technological developments to bring you unfiltered information about gadgets.

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