Geoffrey Hinton is a pioneer in artificial intelligence. He has joined the growing chorus of critics who warn of the dangers associated with creating products that are based on generative AI (GAI). Hinton’s work was the basis for many of the AI systems used by the biggest companies in the industry. He believes that GAI’s aggressive pursuit could lead to the release of something harmful, which has the potential of misinforming, endangering jobs, or even putting humanity at risk. Hinton, who had been working at Google for more than a decade to speak freely about AI dangers, recently left his job.
Hinton, whose former students and colleagues believe that AI poses no real risks, is concerned about the possibility that GAI can learn unanticipated behaviors from large amounts of data. He warns this will become an issue when individuals and businesses allow GAI systems not only to generate their own code, but also run it on their own. He is also concerned that this technology could lead towards the creation of “killer robots” or autonomous weapons. Such weapons could be a danger to humanity, and lead to an arms race around the world that would not end without global regulation.
Many insiders in the industry believe that GAI can be used to spread misinformation, and even pose a risk to job security. Tech leaders believe, however, that new AI systems can lead to breakthroughs for drug research and educational purposes. Google, for example, is constantly learning about new risks and experimenting with AI. Hinton called for the technology to be scaled down until scientists understand how to control it. However, many experts believe that GAI poses no real risks.