On Wednesday, one of the leading scientists in the field of artificial intelligence, Jeffrey Hinton, issued new warnings about the potential risks that AI can bring to society. Hinton, known as the “godfather of AI,” called on governments to step in and take action to prevent machines from potentially taking control of our society.
Hinton’s departure from Google in May, after ten years on the job, sparked widespread media coverage. The scientist decided to talk more freely about the risks and dangers of AI, especially after the release of ChatGPT, which captured the imagination of the world.
At the Collision technology conference in Toronto, Hinton spoke to a packed audience of more than 30,000 startup founders, investors and technology sector workers. Most in attendance were interested in how to use AI in their projects, rather than hearing about its potential threats. However, Hinton insisted on the need to understand the possible consequences and called for a balanced approach.
One of the key points the scientist pointed out was the risk that AI might try to take control of humans. He stressed that before AI becomes smarter than we are, developers should do their best to understand this risk. Currently, there are many smart people working to improve AI, but only one person trying to figure out how to stop it. Hinton calls for a more balanced approach and distribution of effort.
The dangers associated with AI should not be seen as science fiction or simply fear-mongering. It is a real risk that needs to be thought about in advance and strategies developed to overcome it. Hinton also expressed his concern that AI could exacerbate inequalities in society, benefiting the rich but not improving the situation of workers.
He stressed that wealth would already benefit the rich, not the poor. This could lead to even greater divergence between classes and create a very unequal society. Hinton called for the development of mechanisms that would make the benefits of AI more equitable.