Avoiding the catastrophic misuse of artificial intelligence – departure of Professor Hinton from Google

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Dr Geoffrey Hinton is an award winning distinguished academic who has contributed to the theory and practice of artificial intelligence networks on a number of applications. His studies have focussed on mental imagery and creative intelligence. He has produced outstanding work in the field of

This week Hinton resigned from Google in order to be able to speak “freely speak out about the risks of A.I.”  He is concerned about the risks of the misuse of artificial intelligence, unethical misuse and technological unemployment. He has expressed concerns about AI becoming smarter than humans, smarter than its own creators.  

Academic pedigree

Hinton read experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge and followed with a PhD in AI at the University of Edinburgh. His research in AI is ground breaking and he was pivital to the success of advanced AI systems such as Google’s Bard, OpenAI and Chat GPT.

Alexiei Dingli, Professor of AI at the University of Malta, speaking with AIBC News, says that Professor Hinton is absolutely correct in advocating better safeguards for AI.

While we may not be facing an imminent danger, it is essential to start taking precautions now. Hinton’s concerns are not without merit, as he highlights the potential for AI to eliminate jobs, spread misinformation and even manipulate human behaviour, views that I’ve been airing for the past years. His departure from Google serves as a wake-up call for the industry, urging experts and researchers to take potential consequences of AI more seriously.” Professor Alexiei Dingli, Professor of Artificial Intelligence 

Professor Dingli adds that while the progress of artificial intelligence is unstoppable, it is crucial to acknowledge the risks and implement safeguards to prevent any unintended negative consequences.


Technological Change

Experts in AI have been calling for a pause of at least six months in the development of powerful new AI systems, saying that AI should be developed once there is more confidence that “their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable”. As well as being a tool of great power, it is now clear that further development of AI may turn into an existential threat.

In a tweet earlier this week, Hinton announced that he was leaving  Google so he could speak freely about the risks of AI, rather than because of a desire to criticize Google specifically. “I left so that I could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google.” He also commented that  “Google has acted very responsibly.”

Some prominent figures who are key in the development of technology and AI have signed a letter to the Future of Life Institute, a non-profit organisation backed by Elon Musk, calling for the roll out of AI to pause for at least six months citing “profound risks to society and humanity.”

In the interview with the Times, Hinton echoed concerns about AI’s potential to eliminate jobs and create a world where many will “not be able to know what is true anymore.” He also pointed to the stunning pace of advancement, far beyond what he and others had anticipated.

AIBC News spoke with AI expert Prof Alexiei Dingli.  He is Professor at the University of Malta. With over 20 years of experience in the field, he has helped numerous companies successfully implement AI solutions. His work has been recognized as world-class by international experts, and he has received numerous awards from organizations such as the European Space Agency, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the United Nations. In addition to his considerable peer-reviewed publications, he has also been a core member of the Malta.AI task force, working to position Malta as a global leader in AI.


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