scorecardOne of AI's 'godfathers' Yoshua Bengio says he feels 'lost' amid the technology's rapid, unexpected rise — and says computer scientists need ethics training
  1. Home
  2. tech
  3. news
  4. One of AI's 'godfathers' Yoshua Bengio says he feels 'lost' amid the technology's rapid, unexpected rise — and says computer scientists need ethics training

One of AI's 'godfathers' Yoshua Bengio says he feels 'lost' amid the technology's rapid, unexpected rise and says computer scientists need ethics training

Pete Syme   

One of AI's 'godfathers' Yoshua Bengio says he feels 'lost' amid the technology's rapid, unexpected rise — and says computer scientists need ethics training
Tech1 min read
Yoshua Bengio.    Associated Press
  • Yoshua Bengio is one of three AI "godfathers" who won the Turing Prize for breakthroughs in 2018.
  • He told the BBC that he would've prioritized safety if he'd known how quickly AI would progress.

A professor known as one of three AI "godfathers" told the BBC that he felt "lost" over his life's work.

Yoshua Bengio added that he would've prioritized safety over usefulness if he'd known how quickly the technology would progress, per the broadcaster.

He earned the "godfather" nickname along with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun after they won the Turing Award, a prestigious computer science prize, for machine-learning breakthroughs in 2018.

Concerns about AI have proliferated since the public release of ChatGPT last November, primarily over fears that it is closer to reaching human level intelligence than previously thought.

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, told Congress earlier this month he believes a government agency should be formed to oversee AI and prevent it growing out of control.

Bengio also told the BBC there should be regulation for AI companies and labs.

"Governments need to track what they're doing," he said. "That's just the minimum thing we do for any other sector like building aeroplanes or cars or pharmaceuticals."

And the professor called for "ethical training" which computer scientists "don't usually get," per the BBC. "We also need the people who are close to these systems to have a kind of certification," Bengio told the broadcaster.

On Tuesday, he signed a statement issued by the Center for AI Safety, which warns the technology poses an "extinction" risk comparable to nuclear war.

It was also signed by the CEOs of top AI labs, like Altman and Google DeepMind's Demis Hassabis, as well as Hinton.

Hinton quit his job at Google and told The New York Times earlier this month about his regrets pioneering AI. He said he's worried it will promote fake information and eliminate jobs.

Although LeCun – the third "godfather" – has tweeted several times he thinks such beliefs are excessive.

"Until we have a basic design for even dog-level AI (let alone human level), discussing how to make it safe is premature," he said.




Advertisement