Jeffrey Hinton, known as the “Godfather of Artificial Intelligence,” has resigned from Google to raise awareness of the dangers of AI. Hinton, who had been with Google for over ten years, was an authority on AI and had founded the AI company “DNN Research” while he was a computer science professor at the University of Toronto.
On May 1 (local time), foreign media outlets such as The New York Times and CNBC reported that Hinton regretted his achievements and submitted his resignation. He discussed his resignation with Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, over the phone.
Hinton pointed out that the risks of AI, such as the loss of jobs due to AI development and the spread of fake photos, videos, and documents that deceive the public, were coming sooner than expected, ranging from 30 to 50 years. He emphasized that “the digital intelligence we are developing is significantly different from biological intelligence.”
Hinton strongly criticized the use of AI in “robot warrior” technology that could be deployed in warfare. He warned that the development of such technology could lead to devastating consequences for society and humanity.
In March, over 1,000 AI experts signed a joint statement calling for a six-month suspension of AI technology development, claiming that it posed a threat to society and humanity. The American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) also issued a letter warning of the dangers of AI. However, Hinton did not sign the statements, saying that he did not want to publicly criticize Google or the companies he had worked for in the past.
Hinton, who was born in the UK, has mostly conducted research activities in the field of neural networks. He moved to Canada in the 1980s after refusing to accept AI research funds provided by the US Department of Defense.
In 2012, Hinton and two students built a neural network that could identify objects such as photos, flowers, dogs, and cars. Google acquired the start-up founded by Hinton and the two students for $44 million, contributing to the development of technologies such as ChatGPT and Google Buds. The three of them also received the Turing Award, known as the “Nobel Prize of Computers,” for their contributions to neural network research.
Hinton’s resignation from Google has sparked concern over the potential dangers of AI development. As AI technology continues to advance, it is crucial that experts like Hinton continue to speak out and raise awareness of the risks associated with its development.