Geoffrey Hinton, Also Referred To As ‘Godfather Of A.I.’ Exits Google After A Decade

One of the most listened-to experts in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Geoffrey Hinton, referred to as “The Godfather of AI,” was awarded a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence 45 years ago.

Hinton split his time between Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters and Toronto throughout the past ten years. However, he has left the internet behemoth and told The New York Times that he will now warn the world about the potential threat posed by artificial intelligence, which he claimed will arrive sooner than he had originally anticipated.

“I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away,” Hinton told the Times, in a story published Monday. “Obviously, I no longer think that.”

According to the Times, Hinton, who won the 2018 Turing Award for conceptual and engineering advances, admitted that he now has some misgivings about his life’s work. He mentioned the short-term dangers of AI replacing human workers and the rise of phoney images, videos, and text that pass for the real thing to the common person.

In a statement to CNBC, Hinton said, “I now think the digital intelligences we are creating are very different from biological intelligences.”

Hinton cited the effectiveness of GPT-4, the most cutting-edge LLM from firm OpenAI, whose technology has gained widespread use since the launch of the chatbot ChatGPT in late 2017. He stated what is occurring right now as follows:

“If I have 1,000 digital agents who are all exact clones with identical weights, whenever one agent learns how to do something, all of them immediately know it because they share weights,” Hinton told CNBC.  “Biological agents cannot do this. So collections of identical digital agents can acquire hugely more knowledge than any individual biological agent. That is why GPT-4 knows hugely more than any one person.”

Even before he left Google, Hinton was raising the alarm. Hinton was asked what he thought the “chances are of AI just wiping out humanity” in a March interview with CBS News. It’s not improbable, he said in response. That’s all I have to say.

The risks of AI have also been openly discussed by Google CEO Sundar Pichai. He stated that society is unprepared for what is to come on “60 Minutes” last month. At the same time, Google is showcasing its own goods, including Bard, a ChatGPT rival, and self-learning robots.

Though Pichai downplayed the danger when asked if “the pace of change can outstrip our ability to adapt,” “I don’t believe that. We’re kind of a species that can adapt to everything, he remarked.

Hinton has worked less at Google during the past year, according to a memo internally reviewed by CNBC. He changed to 20% of full-time in March 2022. He joined a brand-new Brain Research team later in the year. Within Google Brain, his most recent position was vice president and engineering fellow, reporting to Jeff Dean.

Dean expressed his gratitude to Hinton for “his decade of contributions at Google” in an email to CNBC.

“I’ll miss him, and I wish him well!” Dean wrote. “As one of the first companies to publish AI Principles, we remain committed to a responsible approach to AI. We’re continually learning to understand emerging risks while also innovating boldly.”

Hinton’s exit hurts Google Brain, the group in charge of the majority of the company’s AI efforts. A number of years ago, Google allegedly paid $44 million to purchase a business that Hinton and two of his pupils founded in 2012.

Significant advances in deep learning made by his research team sped up speech recognition and object classification. Their technology would support the development of new applications for AI, such as ChatGPT and Bard.

In order to incorporate Bard’s technology and LLMs into more products and services, Google has organised teams from across the organisation. The business said last month that it would combine Brain and DeepMind in order to “significantly accelerate our progress in AI.”

The Times said that Hinton claimed he left his position at Google so he could openly discuss the dangers of AI. “I console myself with the usual excuse: If I hadn’t done it, someone else would have,” he said to the newspaper.

Hinton tweeted on Monday, “I left so that I could talk about the dangers of AI without considering how this impacts Google. Google has acted very responsibly.”

(Adapted from


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