Dear Commons Community,
Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, has joined a growing list of experts sharing their concerns about the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence. The renowned computer scientist recently left his job at Google to speak openly about his worries about the technology and where he sees it going.
“It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things,” Hinton said in an interview with The New York Times.
Hinton is worried that future versions of the technology pose a real threat to humanity.
“The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that,” he said in the interview. “But most people thought it was way off. And I thought it was way off. I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away. Obviously, I no longer think that.”
Hinton, 75, is most noted for the rapid development of deep learning, which uses mathematical structures called neural networks to pull patterns from massive sets of data.
Like other experts, he believes the race between Big Tech to develop more powerful AI will only escalate into a global race.
Hinton tweeted Monday morning that he felt Google had acted responsibly in its development of AI, but that he had to leave the company to speak out.
Jeff Dean, senior vice president of Google Research and AI, said in an emailed statement: “Geoff has made foundational breakthroughs in AI, and we appreciate his decade of contributions at Google. I’ve deeply enjoyed our many conversations over the years. I’ll miss him, and I wish him well! As one of the first companies to publish AI Principles, we remain committed to a responsible approach to AI. We’re continually learning to understand emerging risks while also innovating boldly.”
Hinton is a notable addition to a group of technologists that have been speaking out publicly about the unbridled development and release of AI and should be listened to.