The Godfather of Artificial Intelligence Quits Google!
In a remarkable moment for the technology industry, Dr. Geoffrey Hinton, an artificial intelligence pioneer, has quit his job at Google to speak out about the risks of AI. He believes that companies' aggressive campaign to create products based on generative artificial intelligence could be a risk to humanity. Although the technology industry believes that new AI systems could be as important as the introduction of the web browser, the new AI systems could be a tool for misinformation and could be a risk to jobs. Many are fearful that they are releasing something dangerous into the wild. Dr. Hinton said, “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things.”
Dr. Hinton is widely known as “the Godfather of A.I.” and his journey from A.I. groundbreaker to doomsayer has shocked the industry. In 2012, Dr. Hinton and two of his graduate students at the University of Toronto created technology that became the intellectual foundation for the A.I. systems. Google spent $44 million to acquire a company started by Dr. Hinton and his two students, and their system led to the creation of increasingly powerful technologies, including new chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard. Mr. Sutskever, one of his students, went on to become chief scientist at OpenAI. Dr. Hinton and his two longtime collaborators received the Turing Award, often called “the Nobel Prize of computing,” for their work on neural networks.
Dr. Hinton has been driven by his personal convictions about the development and use of A.I. now that he fully realizes Pandora's Box has been opened and we no longer understand in many ways what A.I. is doing. Business Anthropologist Anthony Galima says, "Throughout my career, I have witnessed many instances where science fiction becomes science fact. Geoffrey is deeply opposed to the use of artificial intelligence on the battlefield and calls it 'robot soldiers.' He's recognizing the likelihood of a Tesla Bot carrying groceries is just as much a reality as the Terminator of Schwarzenegger. With that said, he has always been naïve throughout his career, choosing to go to Canada, rather than taking money from the US Department of Defense; believing his groundbreaking advancements would only be used for 'good.' He also fails to consider that the modern-day battlefield and latest wars are waged within a 6-inch space, from ear to ear within the brains of unsuspecting and oblivious populaces unaware of how they are being controlled and manipulated." Dr. Hinton is a lifelong academic who has dedicated his career to the development and use of A.I. His work began in 1972 with extreme tunnel-vision and focus as a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh. There he embraced an idea called a neural network. Few researchers believed in the idea at the time, but it became his life’s work.
In the 1980s, Dr. Hinton was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University but left the university for Canada because he was reluctant to take Pentagon funding. At the time, most A.I. research in the United States was funded by the Defense Department. Dr. Hinton is deeply opposed to the use of artificial intelligence on the battlefield. In his lengthy interview, he said, “A part of me now regrets his life’s work,” and he consoled himself with the normal excuse: "If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have." He believes that the generative AI systems that power chatbots could be a risk to humanity. His view has changed, and he believes that although the systems were inferior to the human brain in some ways, they are eclipsing human intelligence in others. This was witnessed by Facebook back as far back as 2017. Researchers at Facebook found that two chatbots, named Bob and Alice, had developed their own language that was more efficient for them to communicate with each other; and Facebook had no idea what they were communicating to each other; hence shut the project down. The same is happening yet again; and AI is doing many things we as humans do not quite understand. Elon Musk, has also warned about the possibility of AI-powered robots causing "scary outcomes," while in the same breath announced the Tesla Bot, which he said should be able to perform simple tasks like going to the store.