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'Godfather of AI' quits Google to talk more openly about the technology's 'dangers'

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TORONTO -

One of the godfathers of artificial intelligence says he has left Google so he can more freely discuss the dangers of the technology.

Geoffrey Hinton says in a tweet that his former employer has acted responsibly with AI but left so he can talk more openly about its risks without considering how it would impact the company.

In a statement, Google's chief scientist Jeff Dean confirmed Hinton's departure, saying he made “foundational breakthroughs” in AI and his decades of contributions to Google are appreciated.

Dean adds Google is committed to a responsible approach to AI and is continually learning to understand emerging risks while innovating boldly.

Hinton, a British-Canadian computer scientist, is best-known for a series of deep neural network breakthroughs that won him, Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio the 2018 Turing Award, known as the Nobel Prize of computing.

Hinton and two of his Toronto students built a neural network in 2012 that could analyze photos and identify objects, which they incorporated and sold to Google for $44 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2023.

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