The famous “AI godfather” Jeffrey Hinton announced his resignation from Google: I regret the development of AI – Programmer Sought

Beijing time on May 2, Geoffrey Hinton (Geoffrey Hinton), known as the “Godfather of AI”, announced on Monday that he has resigned from Google. Hinton has been cultivating the core technology behind chatbots like ChatGPT for half a century. But now, he worries that AI will cause serious harm.

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AI Godfather Hinton

Hinton is an AI pioneer. In 2012, Dr. Hinton and two of his graduate students at the University of Toronto developed technology that became the knowledge base for the AI ​​system. Today, the biggest names in the tech industry see AI systems as the key to their future.

Regret for developing AI

On Monday, however, he officially joined a growing chorus of AI critics. They believe that these companies are actively developing products based on generative AI, and popular chatbots such as ChatGPT are being developed rapidly, which is heading for danger.

Hinton said he had quit his job at Google so he could speak freely about the risks of AI. He has been at Google for more than a decade, becoming one of the most respected figures in the field. Hinton said he now has some regrets about the work he’s done his life.

“I comfort myself with the usual excuse: If I didn’t do it, someone else would,” Hinton said in a lengthy interview at his Toronto home restaurant last week. It’s just steps away from where he and his students made AI breakthroughs.

Dr. Hinton

Dr. Hinton

Hinton’s transition from AI pioneer to doomsayer marks a remarkable moment in perhaps the most important inflection point for the tech industry in decades. Industry leaders believe the new AI system could be as important as the launch of the web browser in the early 1990s and could lead to breakthroughs in fields ranging from drug research to education.

But, much to the chagrin of many in the industry, they fear they are unleashing something dangerous into the wild. Generative AI can already be a tool for disinformation. Soon, it could be a threat to jobs. The tech industry’s biggest worryers say it could pose a threat to humanity at some point in the future.

“It’s hard to imagine how you can stop bad guys from using it to do bad things,” Hinton said.

Since OpenAI released the latest version of the ChatGPT-4 model in March, thousands of technology leaders and executives, including Musk, have signed a joint letter calling for a six-month moratorium on the development of a more advanced model than ChatGPT-4 because AI “Poses a profound risk to society and humanity”. A few days later, 19 current and former leaders of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, a 40-year-old academic organization, published their own open letter warning of the risks of AI. The group includes Eric Horvitz, Microsoft’s chief scientific officer. Microsoft has used OpenAI’s technology in a range of products, including the Bing search engine.

Hinton did not sign either letter. He said he did not want to publicly criticize Google or other companies until he resigned. Last month, he informed the company that he was resigning. On Thursday, he spoke on the phone with Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet. He declined to discuss publicly the details of his conversation with Pichai.

“We remain committed to taking a responsible approach to AI,” Google chief scientist Jeff Dean said in a statement. “We are innovating boldly as we continue to learn and understand emerging risks.”

The AI ​​danger is coming sooner

Hinton believes that as companies improve AI systems, they will become increasingly dangerous. “Look at what it was like five years ago and now,” he said of AI technology, “accepting the difference and spreading it. It’s scary.”

He said that until last year, Google had been a “proper steward” of the technology, being careful not to release anything that could cause harm. But now, Microsoft is augmenting its Bing search engine with chatbots, challenging Google’s core business, leading Google to race to deploy the same technology. The tech giants are locked in a race that may not be able to stop, Hinton said.

His biggest concern right now is that the internet will be flooded with fake photos, videos and texts, and ordinary people will “no longer be able to know what is real”. He also worries that AI technology will eventually disrupt the job market. Today, chatbots like ChatGPT tend to complement human workers, but they could also replace paralegals, personal assistants, translators, and others who handle mechanized tasks. “It saves heavy work, but it may take away more than that,” Hinton said.

In the future, he worries that future versions of AI technologies will pose a threat to humans because they often learn unexpected behaviors from the vast amounts of data they analyze. This becomes a problem, he said, because individuals and companies allow AI systems not only to generate their own computer code, but to run that code themselves. He fears that one day truly autonomous weapons—those killer robots—will become a reality.

“Some people believe that this kind of thing will actually become smarter than people,” he said, “but most people think it’s far away. I thought it was far away. I think it’s 30 to 50 years away.” Even longer. Apparently, I don’t feel that way anymore.”

Hinton said that when people used to ask him how he could work on potentially dangerous technology, he would paraphrase Robert Oppenheimer, America’s “father of the atomic bomb”: “When you see something technically When something feels good, you do it.”

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