‘Quite Scary:’ ‘Godfather of AI’ Geoffrey Hinton Worries About Future of ChatGPT

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Geoffrey Hinton, the 75-year-old renowned AI pioneer, has provided more insight into his recent resignation from Google over concerns relating to the potential risks arising from advancements in the field of AI and popular chatbots like ChatGPT.

Breitbart News recently reported that Geoffrey Hinton, 75, a pioneer in artificial intelligence who is frequently referred to as the “godfather of AI,” announced his resignation from Google, citing growing worries about the risks and dangers that could come from the field’s advancements.

Geoffrey Hinton, chief scientific adviser at the Vector Institute, speaks during The International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA) Toronto Global Forum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. The Toronto Global Forum is a non-profit organization fostering dialogue on national and global issues that brings together heads of states, central bank governors, ministers and global economic decision makers. Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

Now, Hinton has expanded upon his reasons for leaving in a recent interview with BBC News. Hinton expressed regret for his contributions to AI,  calling some of the risks associated with chatbots that use AI “quite scary.” He further elaborated, “Right now, they’re not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be.” Current AI systems, such as ChatGPT, have benefited greatly from Dr. Hinton’s seminal work on neural networks and deep learning.

Hinton brought up the possibility of chatbots surpassing the amount of information that a human brain can process during an interview with the BBC. He explained, “Right now, what we’re seeing is things like GPT-4 eclipses a person in the amount of general knowledge it has, and it eclipses them by a long way. In terms of reasoning, it’s not as good, but it does already do simple reasoning,” adding, “Right now, they’re not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be.”

A nightmare scenario that he described involved a dictator giving chatbots the ability to create their own sub-goals and ultimately leading them to a quest for more power.

“You can imagine, for example, some bad actor like Putin decided to give robots the ability to create their own sub-goals,” Hinton said. He added that the AI may then “create sub-goals like ‘I need to get more power.'”

Despite his reservations, Hinton is nonetheless upbeat about the near-term advantages of AI and does not support putting a stop to its advancement. He argues that international competition would make it difficult to pause AI development, stating, “Even if everybody in the U.S. stopped developing it, China would just get a big lead.”

In response to Hinton’s resignation, Google’s chief scientist, Jeff Dean, stated, “We remain committed to a responsible approach to AI. We’re continually learning to understand emerging risks while also innovating boldly.”

Hinton joins the growing number of experts who are worried about the rate and direction of AI development as AI systems continue to advance quickly. In March, a call for a halt on all developments more advanced than the current version of AI chatbot ChatGPT was made in an open letter co-signed by dozens of experts in the field, including tech billionaire Elon Musk. This was done to allow for the development and implementation of strong safety measures.

The letter was also signed by Yoshua Bengio, another of the so-called “godfathers of AI,” who shared the 2018 Turing Award for deep learning research with Hinton and Yann LeCun. Bengio wrote that it was because of the “unexpected acceleration” in AI systems that “we need to take a step back.”

Speaking in his personal capacity to the BBC, Matt Clifford, the chairman of the UK’s Advanced Research and Invention Agency, said that Dr. Hinton’s announcement “underlines the rate at which AI capabilities are accelerating.”

“There’s an enormous upside from this technology, but it’s essential that the world invests heavily and urgently in AI safety and control,” he said.

The advancement of artificial general intelligence (AGI) presents both new opportunities and challenges as AI technology continues to advance and have an impact on a variety of societal aspects, including video-streaming platforms, hiring practices, insurance, and medical diagnostics

Read more at BBC News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


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