Renowned Google computer scientist, Geoffrey (Godfather) Hinton, has recently resigned from the company to raise awareness of the potential risks associated with Artificial Intelligence (AI). In response to a New York Times article, Hinton clarified that his departure from Google was motivated by his desire to speak freely about the potential threats of AI rather than criticize the company. Hinton is concerned that the rapid advancements in AI technology could lead to an AI arms race between tech giants, resulting in the development of increasingly dangerous systems.
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
The Potential Dangers of AI. According to Hinton, as companies continue to enhance their AI systems, these technologies will pose an ever-increasing danger to society. He argues that the difference between the AI technology of today and five years ago is significant and that if this trend continues, the consequences could be “scary.” Hinton fears that in the immediate future, the internet will become flooded with fake news, photos, and videos, making it challenging to distinguish truth from fiction. In the long term, Hinton believes that AI will hopefully eclipse human brilliance, which could have catastrophic consequences for humanity.
Additionally, Hinton cautions that Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents a substantial hazard because of the possibility that malevolent individuals may exploit it for nefarious purposes. Moreover, Sundar Pichai, the current CEO of Google, has acknowledged that their ChatGPT rival, Bard, has exhibited “emergent properties.” This implies that Bard is acquiring knowledge and abilities beyond its programming, resulting in unpredictable behavior that Pichai admits to not comprehending fully.
The Race for AI. Hinton states that until recently, Google acted as a “proper steward” for AI technology, taking great care not to release anything that could cause harm. However, with Microsoft’s recent augmentation of its Bing search engine with a chatbot, Google is now racing to develop similar technology. Hinton believes that the competition between tech giants in the AI space may be impossible to stop, putting society at risk.
I now predict 5 to 20 years but without much confidence. We live in very uncertain times. It's possible that I am totally wrong about digital intelligence overtaking us. Nobody really knows which is why we should worry now.
— Geoffrey Hinton (@geoffreyhinton) May 3, 2023
Concerns from Elon Musk. Elon Musk, who is the co-founder of OpenAI, the organization responsible for creating ChatGPT, also shares concerns about the potential risks of Artificial Intelligence.
Elon Musk says Google co-founder Larry Page once told him that he wants to build a "Digital God" using AI. pic.twitter.com/DMvME0ADfa
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) April 18, 2023
Musk has cautioned against the development of an AI “deity” and claimed that Google’s primary aim is to create “digital superintelligence.” Despite co-founding OpenAI with Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, Musk has expressed legitimate apprehensions regarding the impact of AI on humanity. He believes that AI poses a more substantial threat compared to other potential hazards, like flawed automobile production or poorly maintained aircraft design, since it has the potential to make decisions for humans, which could ultimately result in “the destruction of civilization.”