Elon Musk Calls Geoffrey Hinton One Of The Smartest People After AI Godfather Says ’50-50 Chance’

Elon Musk Calls Geoffrey Hinton One Of The Smartest People After AI Godfather Says ’50-50 Chance’

Sharing a snippet of Geoffrey Hinton’s interview on social media over the weekend, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, praised him for his superior intellect and shared concerns about AI’s potential to outsmart humans.

What Happened: On Saturday, Musk took to X, formerly Twitter, and shared a video of Hinton, known to many as the “Godfather of AI,” appearing on Bloomberg television, saying, “Wise words from a recent interview with @geoffreyhinton, one of the smartest people in the world regarding AI.”



Hinton has been vocal about the need for the tech industry to invest significantly in addressing the potential threat of AI surpassing human intelligence. During the interview, He estimated a 50-50 chance of this happening within the next two decades.

“I think there’s a 50-50 chance it will get more intelligent than us in the next 20 years,” he said.

Hinton supports his argument by giving the example of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. “If you take something like GPT-4, which is bigger than GPT-3, it is quite a lot smarter.  It answers a whole bunch of questions correctly that GPT-3 would get wrong.”

Hinton contrasted that risk with the potential financial gains from the technology, highlighting it as one of the main tensions that led OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever to leave the company.

“The people interested in safety, like Ilya Sutskever, wanted significant resources to be spent on safety. People interested in profits, like Sam Altman, didn’t want to spend too many resources on that,” he said, adding, “I think (Altman) would like big profits.”



He also suggested that companies dedicate 20% to 30% of their computing resources to study how this intelligence might eventually evade human control. Hinton also called for urgent government intervention.

Why It Matters: Last year Hinton left his position at Google to speak more freely about the risks posed by AI. At the time, he expressed regret over his role in the development of AI technology, stating, “If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have.”

Earlier this year, he warned of potential job losses due to AI and called for the implementation of a universal basic income. In May 2024, a study by Microsoft and LinkedIn found that 75% of employees use AI in their work. However, over half of these employees are reluctant to admit using AI for their most critical tasks, fearing it might make them seem replaceable.

Hinton also predicted a possible “human wipeout” in five to 20 years due to the rise of AI. “As soon as I thought it might wipe us out, I quit Google and started telling people it might wipe us out.”



During the interview with BBG, Hinton also said that the soaring stock market values and competitive pressures these companies face are rapidly diminishing the industry’s focus on safety concerns. However, this doesn’t mean all tech leaders are unconcerned about the risks.

“Some people in industry —  particularly Elon Musk — have said this is a real threat. I don’t agree with much of what he says but that aspect I do agree with,” he stated.

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