Geoffrey Hinton, known as “the Godfather of AI,” has spent most of his career promoting the benefits of artificial intelligence, but now he is concerned about its potential dangers. In a recent interview with the New York Times, he discussed his decision to leave Google, where he co-founded Google Brain, a research team creating AI systems, citing worries about how challenging it would be to stop bad actors from abusing the technology. Hinton is not alone in his apprehension about AI’s future, as other AI pioneers have expressed similar concerns.
The proliferation of false information made possible by AI, such as deepfakes and AI-generated fake news, which can perplex people and muddy the borders between fact and fiction, is one of Hinton’s main worries. He fears that in the future, people won’t be able to tell what is real from what isn’t.
Hinton is particularly concerned about the speed at which AI technology is developing, which has been accelerated by rivalry between powerful tech firms like Google and Microsoft. He once thought it would be decades before technology would surpass the human brain, so he is concerned that it will.
Hinton, who is now 75, is devoting the remainder of his life to preventing the abolition of civilization due to technology he helped develop. He acknowledges the possibility that others would have developed AI had he not done so, but he still feels a sense of responsibility to help mitigate the potential negative consequences of its use.