Geoffrey Hinton, of the inventors of modern AI, has expressed regret over his involvement in the technology’s creation. The Modern AI inventor revealed that he lives in fear of his own work, and is scared for the future.
Speaking to The New York Times, Hinton explained that he has quit his long-standing job at Google and will spend the rest of his career warning others against the issues plaguing the current generation of artificial intelligence.
Hinton’s work on AI revolves around the neural net model used in all modern AI systems, including ChatGPT, Midjourney and even Deepfake technology. These neural nets work on gathering terabytes, if not petabytes, of existing information and training systems to create their own versions.
The Modern AI inventor revealed that his fears around AI started when Microsoft released its ChatGPT-powered BingAI tool. As Google employees begged management not to release its lying Google Bard competitor, Hinton saw the danger for the first time.
Hinton explains that the use of AI in search engines creates a future where the truth is far harder to determine than it was before. The AI researcher claims that the rise of fake text and images that he helped create means nobody will be able to tell “what is true anymore”.
In the interview, Hinton claims he regrets working on AI and helping it to become as prominent as it is today. However, the researcher is also aware that if he didn’t create the technology, someone else would.
“I console myself with the normal excuse: If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have,” he explained. “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things.”
Unfortunately, the AI researcher also believes that AI tech is expanding too fast for humanity’s good. While OpenAI CEO Sam Altman believes the time of massive AI improvements is at an end already, Hinton isn’t convinced.
“The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that,” the researcher said. “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.”
Since the release of his New York Times interview, many have criticised the modern AI inventor for leaving Google to criticise the company. However, in a public statement, the researcher claimed that wasn’t the case. Instead, his focus is on warning others of the dangers of AI.
“I left so that I could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google. Google has acted very responsibly,” Hinton explained.
Nevertheless, there are still issues surrounding Google’s development of new AI tools. The tech giant has been rash with its research, circumventing warnings from ethical experts at the company and even firing them for pointing out issues with new technology. Famously, Google fired AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru for pointing out issues with the company’s technology.