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Geoffrey Hinton leaves Google, warns about AI risks

Geoffrey Hinton focused on deep learning projects for half a century (Source: Geoffrey Hinton on Twitter)
Geoffrey Hinton focused on deep learning projects for half a century (Source: Geoffrey Hinton on Twitter)
Known for his work on artificial neural networks, Geoffrey Hinton has been with Google since March 2013, when the tech giant acquired DNNresearch Inc., his company at the time. Earlier today, he announced his departure from Google so he could talk freely about the dangers of AI, but also highlighted that he is not criticizing the tech giant.

One of the three "Godfathers of AI" who won the 2018 Turing Award for their AI-related work, great-great-grandson of Mary Everest Boole and George Boole, Geoffrey Hinton revealed in an interview with The New York Times that he left Google after a decade with the company. The reason he mentioned is the conflict of interest caused by his status as a Google employee and his desire to speak about the risks of AI.

Although he was involved in AI-related research for a significant part of his life, Geoffrey Hinton was also concerned about the negative impact that his work could have on mankind. Earlier today, he posted the following message on Twitter: "In the NYT today, Cade Metz implies that I left Google so that I could criticize Google. Actually, I left so that I could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google. Google has acted very responsibly."

In the past, Hinton spoke against military funding of artificial intelligence projects, petitioning against lethal autonomous weapons. He joined Google in March 2013, when the tech giant purchased DNNresearch Inc., his startup which was focusing most of its efforts on machine learning for image recognition. Under Google, the work continued and had a deep impact on the search engine's photo search capabilities and more.

This Wednesday, he will talk to MIT Technology Review at EmTech Digital in what will be his first interview after the resignation. He will most likely use this opportunity to refresh its old predictions regarding the future of AI, given the most recent developments in the field.

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Codrut Nistor, 2023-05- 1 (Update: 2023-05- 1)