Computer scientist Geoffrey Hinton confirmed he has resigned from Google over growing concerns regarding the potentially harmful use of AI technology. Hinton recently stated, “Right now, they’re not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be.”
Known as the “Godfather of AI”, Hinton spent decades researching and developing neural networks and deep learning algorithms which contributed to the AI advancements now in use. He is an innovative computer scientist who, along with two others, won the 2019 Turing Award – a high honor in the tech world.
Now, he wants the freedom to speak openly about a dangerous road AI could take us down.
“I want to talk about AI safety issues without having to worry about how it interacts with Google’s business. As long as I’m paid by Google, I can’t do that,” said Hinton in an interview with MIT Technology Review. He also has said that in his ten years of experience working for Google’s Toronto Research team, the company acted responsibly with the AI technology currently in use.
Many people have sounded alarms over the rise in AI use and its implications, ranging from AI replacing actual people’s jobs to growing more intelligent than us, to real-world disasters it could likely contribute to regarding reinforcing biases contributing to discrimination.
Researchers within the AI development community have begun voicing their concerns as well. Managing director of the AI Now Institute Sarah Myers West says, “We need to take a step back and really think about whose needs are being put front and center in the discussion about risks. The harms that are being enacted by AI systems today are really not evenly distributed. It’s very much exacerbating existing patterns of inequality.”
Hinton will be holding a conference today to go further into the details of his concerns as well as his hopes for future AI tech.