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‘Godfather of AI’ warns of the technology’s rapid acceleration
Current affairs | 2 May 2023

Still, ‘Ex Machina’ 2014

With the sudden acceleration and mainstream use of AI chatbots – creating songs that replicate artists and photo-realistic images born from algorithms – many fear the advancement of this technology is quickly becoming uncontrollable. Adding to this, renowned scientist and ‘AI godfather’ Dr Geoffrey Hinton has announced his resignation from Google in order to speak freely about the dangers of AI without impacting the tech giant.

Having worked at Google for over a decade, pioneering revolutionary technology in deep learning and neural networks that have shaped some of the most advanced artificial intelligence systems, Hinton is now warning the public about the dangers of AI. Speaking to The New York Times, the scientist said that the advancement of such technology was “quite scary”, and that “Right now, they’re not more intelligent than us, as far as I can tell. But I think they soon may be.”

“The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people – a few people believed that,” he continued. “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.”

Of his fears, Hinton warned of “bad actors” who may give robots the ability to create their own sub-goals, as well as AI replacing human jobs. While in terms of the now, he warned that the technology will mean people won’t “be able to know what is true anymore” – take that viral image of the Pope wearing a Balenciaga puffer coat earlier this year, for example.

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