Geoffrey Hinton, “the Godfather of AI,” has resigned from Google following the rapid rise of ChatGPT and other chatbots, in order to “freely speak out about the risks of AI,” he told the New York Times.
Hinton, who helped lay the groundwork for today’s generative AI, was an engineering fellow at Google for over a decade. Per the Times, a part of him regrets his life’s work after seeing the danger generative AI poses. He worries about misinformation; that the average person will “not be able to know what is true anymore.” In near future, he fears that AI’s ability to automate tasks will replace not just just drudge work, but upend the entire job market.:
Previously, Hinton thought the AI revolution was decades away. But since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022, the large language model’s intelligence (LLM) has changed his mind. “Look at how it was five years ago and how it is now,” he said. “Take the difference and propagate it forwards. That’s scary.”
The debut of ChatGPT kicked off a sort of lopsided three way competition against Microsoft Bing, and Google Bard. Lopsided, because GPT-4 which powers ChatGPT also powers Bing. With two contenders coming for its core search business, Google scrambled to launch Bard, despite internal concerns that it wasn’t stress-tested enough for accuracy and safety.:
Hinton clarified(opens in a new tab) on Twitter after the Times article was published that he wasn’t criticizing Google specifically, and believes that it has “acted very responsibly.” Instead he is concerned about the broader risks of the warp-speed development of AI, driven by the competitive landscape. Without regulation or transparency, companies risk losing control of a potent technology. “I don’t think they should scale this up more until they have understood whether they can control it,” said Hinton.
That’s yet another expert calling for AI development to hit the pause button.