‘Godfather of AI’ Geoffrey Hinton quits Google and warns over dangers of misinformation

Dr Geoffrey Hinton recently joined the growing group of critics speaking on the risks of emerging AI-based technology such as ChatGPT. He comes from an academic background, and his career revolves around the creation and the impact of Artificial intelligence (AI) on society at large; that’s why he got the title of ‘Godfather of AI’. In a tweet, he clarified that he left Google not to criticise it but to tell people about the dangers posed by AI. He said, “In the NYT today, Cade Metz implies that I left Google so that I could criticise Google. Actually, I left so that I could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google. Google has acted very responsibly”. In 2012, Dr Hinton and his students at the University of Toronto created a technology that later became the foundation of AI Technology which is now being developed rapidly by tech giants without realising its dangers. According to Dr Hinton, companies are developing products based on generative AI but are not fully considering the risks it poses. He stressed that this technology would fill the internet with false photos, videos and texts, and normal people may be unable to comprehend which one is real or fake. Notably, many fake photos of prominent people have emerged on the internet. Software such as DallE and MidJourney are used to create these make-believe but fake photos, which can later pose the issue of identity theft or deep fakes. While he showed his concern about the usage of AI as it can potentially eliminate various jobs, he stated that the jobs of Paralegals, personal assistants, and translators are some of the job profiles which the introduction of Artificial Intelligence can replace. Recently in March, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, which many technology leaders and researchers opposed. Around 1000 technology leaders and researchers signed an open letter for suspending this technology for six months, stating that it poses profound risks to society and humanity. Though Dr Hinton didn’t sign any of those letters, but he resigned from Google to speak freely against the dangers posed by the AI where he worked for over a decade. Interestingly Google launched its own AI-based chatbot, Bard, in March 2023. The release got mixed responses, and Google’s chief scientist Jeff Dean said they’re responsible while dealing with Artificial intelligence.