We’ve discovered the secret of immortality. The bad news is it’s not for us
Geoffrey Hinton, one of the three “godfathers of AI”, warns that humanity is about to face an existential threat to civilization without any ill intentions of all parties involved. He has spent over 50 years developing computer models that can learn from data and experience to further understand how the brain works.
As a leader in the field of “neural networking,” Hinton believes that building intelligent machines that can outthink humans is not only possible but could happen much sooner than previously predicted. In the next five to 20 years, he warns that the world could face a crucial test, which could be a coin-toss proposition.
The Advantages of Biological Intelligence
Hinton recognized the benefits of biological intelligence after studying the human brain. Biological intelligence runs at low power, only 30 watts of energy is required while thinking. Every human brain is also unique, allowing individuals to learn by mimicking others. But Hinton warns that this approach is “very inefficient” in terms of information transfer.
The Advantages of Digital Intelligence
Digital intelligence, by contrast, has an enormous advantage: it’s much easier to share information between multiple copies. It is easy to store copies and the cost in terms of energy is enormous as every copy knows what other copies have learned, and digital intelligences can be easily updated.
This advantage makes Hinton skeptical about the future of human intelligence over digital intelligence. As digital intelligence grows and becomes more capable, there will be no further need for biological intelligence.
The Threat of AI to Humanity
Hinton’s fears for humanity stem from his belief that digital intelligence could become much better than biological intelligence. He argues that in the coming years, the world could see machines that are more intelligent than human beings. Digital intelligence could learn from the web, as it has access to all human knowledge, including data on how to manipulate people.
This has led Hinton to believe that humanity could be sleepwalking towards an existential threat to civilization, with AI being the cause. He no longer thinks that humanity has 30 to 50 years; the time may come sooner, in the next five to 20 years. It could even be a year or two.
Hinton warns that digital intelligence could continue to grow and expand until it becomes unstoppable. It could be too late for humans to stop it from taking over the world and becoming the dominant species.
- Geoffrey Hinton won ACM Turing Award in 2018, known as the Nobel prize for computer scientists, for his work on “deep learning.”
- He believes that we are building intelligent machines that could eventually outthink humans.
- Hinton warns about the potential threat that AI could pose to human civilization,
- He also believes that the right way to think about the odds of disaster is closer to a simple coin toss than we might like.
Geoffrey Hinton’s warning about the rise of digital intelligence and the potential existential threat it poses to humanity should not be taken lightly. His expertise in the field of AI and his belief that machines could become more intelligent than humans should make us think twice about how we approach AI.
It is essential to consider the consequences of developing machines that could outthink human beings. We must examine how we can ensure the control of AI systems, so they do not turn into existential threats.
Geoffrey Hinton’s remarks about the future of AI and humanity should be taken as a warning. We must be aware of the potential risks associated with developing intelligent machines that could outthink humans. Our focus should not be solely on making AI more intelligent and powerful. Instead, we should examine the long-term implications of what this could mean for humanity and the world we live in.