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The Creator of Artificial Intelligence Warned of its Danger and Quit Google

04.05.2023
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https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-65458210

Hinton, 75, is a British-Canadian scientist in the field of cognitive psychology and computer science. His research, to which he devoted decades of his life, paved the way for modern AI systems, such as the Chat GPT chatbot. When leaving Google, Hinton tweeted that he did not want to cast a shadow on the company with his resignation. "I left to be able to talk about the dangers without worrying about how it will affect Google. Google works responsibly," he wrote.

Hinton's resignation adds weight to the voices of experts who have recently expressed concern about the speed of development of artificial intelligence technologies. A recently open letter to this effect was signed by entrepreneur Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The letter spoke of a range of risks, from spreading misinformation to putting people out of work and losing control of civilization.

Hinton initially told the New York Times of his resignation from Google, explaining that he partly regrets the work he has done. "I console myself with the usual excuse: if I hadn't done it, someone else would have done it," the scientist shared in an interview with the newspaper.

Explaining his concerns in a BBC commentary, Hinton said people should be concerned about the speed at which AI technologies are advancing. "Already now we see how systems like GPT-4 eclipse a person in general erudition, and by a large margin. In terms of logical thinking, it still lags behind, but it is already capable of simple reasoning." "And given the current rate of progress, we expect the improvement to happen fairly quickly. And we should be concerned," - added the scientist.

As Hinton explained, computer systems have much more ability to learn than humans, which is alarming. “We are biological systems, and here we are talking about digital ones. And the huge difference is that with digital systems you can have many copies with the same initial components. All these copies can learn separately from each other, and then instantly share new knowledge. “Imagine if each of 10,000 people learned something new, and immediately all 10,000 automatically received this knowledge. That is why these chat bots can know much more than a single person,” the scientist emphasized.

Hinton was born in Britain, where he graduated from the University of Cambridge. Since 1972 he has been researching neural networks and artificial intelligence at universities in Britain, the US and Canada. In 2012, Hinton and two students in Toronto created a neural network capable of identifying certain objects by analyzing photographs and various digital data. Google bought their startup for $44 million.

In 2018, Hinton received the Turing Prize, the computer equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

In an interview with the BBC, Hinton added that another reason that prompted him to leave his Google post was his age. "I'm 75, it's time to retire," he said.

 

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