July 21st, 2024

Surveillance risks posed by AI among the technology’s most urgent problems: Hinton

By The Canadian Press on June 19, 2024.

AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton stands backstage at the Collision Conference, in Toronto, on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Artificial intelligence pioneer Geoffrey Hinton says he has spent the most time talking publicly about the existential threat he thinks the technology poses, but he considers the surveillance risks it could trigger even more urgent.

Hinton says his worries are based around a prediction he has that AI will be very good at surveillance, which could help authoritarian regimes come to or stay in power.

He says there are very few protections against these kinds of regimes and has seen instances where supreme courts can’t even counter their power.

But Hinton’s AI worries are not limited to surveillance or existential risk. He also foresees AI spurring the rise of lethal autonomous weapons soon and counts fake videos, corrupting elections and cybercrime as other potential risks.

Rounding out his list of worries are job losses that could increase the gap between rich and poor and cybercrime, where he’s noticed a rapid increase.

Hinton made the remarks at the Collision tech conference in Toronto, where he also appeared last year to ring alarm bells on the unintended consequences of AI.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2024.

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