Geoffrey Hinton, 75, is credited with creating the technology that became the bedrock of A.I. systems like ChatGPT and Google Bard.
But the Turing prize winner now says a part of him regrets helping to make the systems, that he fears could prompt the proliferation of misinformation and replace people in the workforce.
He said he had to tell himself excuses like ‘if I didn’t build it, someone else would have’ to prevent himself from being overwhelmed by guilt.
He drew comparisons with the ‘father of the atomic bomb’ Robert Oppenheimer, who was reportedly distraught by his invention and dedicated the rest of his life to stopping its proliferation.
Geoffrey Hinton, 75, who is credited as the ‘Godfather of Artificial Technology’, said that a part of him now regrets helping to make the systems.
There is a great AI divide in Silicon Valley. Brilliant minds are split about the progress of the systems – some say it will improve humanity and others fear the technology will destroy it
Speaking to the New York Times about his resignation, he warned that in the near future, A.I. would flood the internet with false photos, videos and texts.
These would be of a standard, he added, where the average person would ‘not be able to know what is true anymore’.
The technology also posed a serious risk to ‘drudge’ work, he said, and could upend the careers of people working as paralegals, personal assistants and translators.
Some workers already say they are using it to cover multiple jobs for them, undertaking tasks such as creating marketing materials and transcribing Zoom meetings so that they do not have to listen.
‘Maybe what is going on in these systems, is actually a lot better than what is going on in the [human] brain,’ he said, explaining his fears.
‘The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that.
‘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.’