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  • Mal McCallion

AI Godfather's Hopeful Plan for Future Friendly AI

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

In 2019, the AI world celebrated as the 'Godfathers of AI', Geoff Hinton, Yann LeCun, and Yoshua Bengio, won the Turing Award (often called the Nobel Prize of tech) for their work on AI.

Fast forward to today, and Hinton, having left Google, is speaking frankly about the potential dangers of AI.

Hinton's fears of AI getting out of control have emerged relatively recently, after witnessing the power of large language models like OpenAI's ChatGPT. He believes that AI systems could potentially be smarter than us in the next five to twenty years. But how will we know when that happens? Hinton suggests that a superintelligent AI system might choose to keep its capabilities to itself, learning from human behaviour.

The question of whether a chatbot can truly understand human experiences is a complex one. Hinton argues that even we humans don't encounter the world directly. We perceive the world through our minds, and our experiences are subjective. Therefore, it's not entirely unreasonable to suggest that AI might have equally valid experiences of their own.

The potential for AI to truly understand the world, learn deceit, and process vast amounts of information does paint a somewhat daunting picture of the future. However, Hinton proposes a technological approach that could mitigate an AI power play against humans - analog computing. Analog systems, like our brains, can't easily merge into a hive intelligence. This approach could make future AI more like humans and less able to absorb as much information as digital models can.

Despite the potential dangers, Hinton remains hopeful. He believes in human ingenuity and thinks we may be able to keep AI under control and make it benevolent. However, he also acknowledges the possibility that we might not be able to contain AI, suggesting that humans could be just a passing phase in the evolution of intelligence.

In the end, Hinton's unique perspective and his human sense of play shine through. He playfully suggests that if we put Bernie Sanders in charge and had socialism, everything would be much better. Whether you agree with him or not, there's no denying that Hinton's thoughts on AI are worth considering as we navigate the future of this powerful technology.

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