AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has resigned from his position at Google due to concerns about the risks of artificial intelligence.
In an interview with The New York Times, Hinton warns that companies are racing towards danger with their aggressive campaign to create products based on generative AI, the technology that powers popular chatbots like ChatGPT.
Hinton believes that as companies improve their AI systems, they also become increasingly dangerous.
“Look at how it was five years ago and how it is now,” he said. “Take the difference and propagate it forward. That’s scary.”
He also worries about the impact of AI on the job market, stating that chatbots like ChatGPT could replace paralegals, personal assistants, translators, and others who handle rote tasks. “It takes away the drudge work, it might take away more than that,” he said.
Hinton’s immediate concern is that the internet will be flooded with false photos, videos, and text, and the average person will not be able to know what is true anymore.
He warns that generative AI can be a tool for misinformation and that it could be a risk to humanity.
“It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” he said. He also noted that until last year, Google acted as a proper steward for the technology, careful not to release something that might cause harm.
But now that Microsoft has augmented its Bing search engine with a chatbot, Google is racing to deploy the same kind of technology, and the tech giants are locked in a competition that might be impossible to stop.
Hinton, who is considered the AI godfather, is an artificial intelligence pioneer.
In 2012, he and two of his graduate students at the University of Toronto created technology that became the intellectual foundation for the AI systems that the tech industry’s biggest companies believe is a key to their future.