The Godfather of AI Alone Speaks: The Shocking Resignation and Loud Warning of Google’s Top AI Guru
The pioneer of Artificial Intelligence (AI) known as the “Godfather of AI” has stepped down from Google to speak more openly about the potential dangers of the technology.
Dr. Geoffrey Hinton spent nearly a decade at Google working on machine learning algorithms before leaving. His lifelong work on neural networks is said to have earned him the moniker.
However, Hinton clarified in a tweet on May 1 that he was leaving Google “so I can talk about the dangers of AI.” In an interview with the New York Times, he expressed concern about the use of AI to flood the internet with fake photos, videos and text, saying that many people would not “be able to know what is true anymore”.
Hinton is also concerned about AI taking over jobs. According to him AI will pose a danger to humanity in the future because AI will learn unpredictable behavior from the huge volume of data it monitors. He also raised concerns about the ongoing AI arms race, which seeks to advance technology for application in lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS).
Hinton also acknowledged some regrets about his life’s work, saying, “I take comfort in the usual excuse: If I don’t do it, someone else will.” In recent months, regulators, policy makers and executives from the technology sector have all raised concerns about the advancement of AI. More than 2,600 technology executives and researchers signed an open letter in March urging a temporary halt in AI development due to “grave risks to society and humanity.”
In April, a group of 12 European Union legislators signed a similar petition, and a recent draft of EU regulations categorizes AI products based on their level of harm. The United Kingdom also donated $125 million to a task committee to create “safe AI”. AI technology is purportedly already being used for misinformation, with a recent incident of media being duped into publishing fake news, with one German website even using AI to create interviews.
On May 1, Binance said it had been the target of a disinformation campaign orchestrated by ChatGPT and published a screenshot of the chatbot saying its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, was a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s youth group. The bot links to Forbes articles and LinkedIn pages where it claims to have obtained the information. However, the article does not appear to exist, and the LinkedIn profile does not belong to Zhao.
A group of pranksters also fooled other media publications around the world last week, including the Daily Mail and The Independent. The Daily Mail published, then deleted a story about a Canadian actor allegedly named “Saint Von Colucci” who reportedly died after undergoing cosmetic surgery to appear more like a South Korean pop star.
The information comes from a press release about the actor’s death, which was sent by an entity posing as a public relations agency and includes graphics that appear to have been created by AI.
Die Aktuelle, a German news organization, released an interview in April that used ChatGPT to piece together chats with former Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, who suffered severe brain damage in a skiing accident in 2013. It is rumored that the Schumacher family will sue over the story.