Artificial intelligence pioneer Geoffrey Hinton resigns from Google and expresses his regrets about the direction of his work. In an interview with the New York Times, he warns about the dangers of generative AI such as ChatGPT.
Geoffrey Hinton quits Google and sounds the alarm on generative AI
Geoffrey Hinton, one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence, recently resigned from his position at Google to alert the general public to the potential dangers of generative AI. In an interview with the New York Times, Hinton reveals that he left Google in order to speak freely about AI and expresses regret about his life's work.
The mad dash for AI technology is in full swing, with giants such as OpenAI, Microsoft, and Google leading the way. AI-based content generation tools, such as ChatGPT, are becoming increasingly common and ubiquitous.
An AI pioneer's regrets and the impact of his work
Geoffrey Hinton's work was crucial to the development of the first neural networks, which power generative AI models such as GPT-4. Hinton and his collaborators even received a Turing Award for their efforts. Ilya Sutskever, a former Hinton researcher, now serves as Chief Scientist at OpenAI.
According to the New York Times, Hinton now “regrets” his life's work. “I console myself with the usual excuse: if I hadn't done it, someone else would have,” he said in this revealing interview. “It's hard to see how we can stop bad actors from using these technologies for nefarious purposes.”
Google responds to Hinton's resignation
Last month, Geoffrey Hinton reportedly informed Google of his resignation and even spoke directly with Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai before his departure. Following this shocking resignation, Jeff Dean, Chief Scientist of Google, issued a statement.
“We remain committed to a responsible approach to AI. We are continually learning to understand emerging risks while innovating boldly.”
The AI race, a source of concern and disruption
The tipping point for Hinton was the launch of Bing AI, which prompted Google to respond by developing its own AI-infused search tool, Bard. This acceleration of competition in the AI field has reinforced Hinton's concerns that technological advances are so rapid that it will become difficult to discern “what is true and what is not,” especially with the widespread use of AI in various applications such as Adobe Firefly, OpenAI, and many others. It has even been documented that GPT-4 is more likely to provide false information.
The impact of AI on the job market
The AI pioneer also believes the technology could disrupt the job market, with many jobs potentially affected, from assistants to translators. “AI is eliminating the thankless work, but it could also take much more than that,” he warned.
“The idea that this technology could become smarter than humans – a few people believed in it, Hinton told the New York Times. However, he did not imagine that this realization would come as quickly as it has in the past seven months.
“Most people thought it was still a long way off. I thought so too. I thought it would happen in 30 to 50 years, or even later. Obviously, I don't think that anymore.”
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