A Google computer scientist dubbed the ‘Godfather’ of AI has quit the company, stating that he did so in order to warn the world of the dangers that the technology presents as big-tech engages in an AI arms race.
Geoffrey Hinton responded Monday to a New York Times article that insinuated he had quit Google in order to criticise the company, noting that the real reason was he actually wanted to freely talk about the dangers of AI.
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
From the Times interview:
He still believed the systems were inferior to the human brain in some ways but he thought they were eclipsing human intelligence in others. “Maybe what is going on in these systems,” he said, “is actually a lot better than what is going on in the brain.”
As companies improve their AI systems, he believes, they become increasingly dangerous. “Look at how it was five years ago and how it is now,” he said of AI technology. “Take the difference and propagate it forwards. That’s scary.”
Until last year, he said, 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 — challenging Google’s core business — Google is racing to deploy the same kind of technology. The tech giants are locked in a competition that might be impossible to stop, Dr. Hinton said.
Read More: Google Computer Scientist Quits So He Can Warn World Of ‘Scary’ And ‘Dangerous’ AI