Geoffrey Hinton, called the ”Godfather of AI” confirmed on Monday that he quit his job at Google last week so that he can freely speak out about the “dangers” of the technology he helped develop.
Confirmed his resignation, Hinton tweeted: “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.”
In an interview with the Times, Hinton expressed his concerns about AI’s potential to eliminate jobs and create a world where many will ”not be able to know 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
”It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” he added. Besides, he is worried about the spread of fake imagery and text.
In a BBC interview on Monday, he said, “I can now just speak freely about what I think the dangers might be. And some of them are quite scary. Right now, as far as I can tell, they’re not more intelligent than us. But I think they soon may be.”
Hinton, 75, worked with Google for over a decade and was considered one of the biggest talent in the field.
His major AI breakthrough came in 212 while working with two graduate students in Toronto. The team successfully created an algorithm that could analyzs photos and identify common elements, such as dogs and cars. One of the students who worked on the project with him now works as OpenAI’s chief scientist, according to the NYT report.
His pioneering work on neural networks also shaped artificial intelligence systems, which have resulted in today’s products like ChatGPT.
“Right now, what we’re seeing is things like GPT-4 eclipses a person in the amount of general knowledge it has and it eclipses them by a long way. In terms of reasoning, it’s not as good, but it does already do simple reasoning. And given the rate of progress, we expect things to get better quite fast. So we need to worry about that,” he told BBC.