Geoffrey Hinton Speaks on the Dangers of AI

With the fast development of AI, many start to realize that there might be more dangers that come with this technology and they are still unknown. Recently, AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton decided to step up and shed light about this issue.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a computer system that is designed to think and perform as a human would. In recent years, AI has taken big leaps thanks to the many pioneers thriving to become the next leader in this field. Geoffrey Hinton has contributed greatly especially in the fields of machine learning and deep learning which allows AI to learn from experience without any human interference. He has created many innovations such as facial recognition, chatbots, and virtual assistants. Up to recently, he worked in Google before quitting in order to speak freely regarding the matter “without considering how [it] impacts Google”, as he stated in a recent tweet. 

Currently, AI bots are able to do simple reasoning and thinking. They are not yet smarter than humans but it is predicted that they are not too far along. Hinton’s most recent invention, GPT-4, can already learn faster than humans. This is because the AI behind it has an efficient learning algorithm that allows it to absorb information quicker than a human can. Not to mention the fact that AI is a digital system which can immediately share their knowledge unlike human intelligence where each person must slowly learn one at a time.

Fortunately, Hinton is not alone in this. A group of leading computer scientists including Elon Musk signed a petition to put a 6-month hold on the development of AI after the release of GPT-4. The purpose of this is to further study GPT-4 and its possibilities to prevent stepping forward blindly. In the long-term, AI has the potential to take out jobs, spread misinformation, and create impersonations for criminal acts. Just recently, the internet broke when a woman shared her experience with a con-artist using AI voice technology to mimic her daughter’s voice, making her think her daughter has been kidnapped. This is exactly the kind of danger that triggered the call for a pause.

The dangers mainly surround the fact that AI’s development is happening at an uncontrollable rate. What was estimated to be reached in 3 decades could now be reached within 2 years. And the world is just not ready for that yet. Rules and regulations that are needed to create a safe space for this new world we are creating are not formed yet. This is where drawing the line would be complicated. How far can AI’s growth go and when must it be stopped? 

However, this is not to say that AI technology must be ruled out completely. Over the past decade, AI has created countless innovations and assistance in our daily lives. AI is the technology behind face recognition to unlock phones, video suggestions on YouTube based on what to watch next, spelling checkers such as Grammarly, smart home devices, and many more. The advantages of AI in the short-term are countless and it would be taking a step backwards if AI was cut from human life.

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