‘Godfather of AI’ Geoffrey Hinton receives UCD’s highest honour

Hinton’s research into deep learning paved the way for the rise of AI systems, but he has also spoken out about the dangers this technology poses for the future.

Renowned AI luminary Geoffrey Hinton, a trailblazer in AI research, has been honored with the prestigious Ulysses Medal by University College Dublin (UCD) in recognition of his significant societal contributions.

Hinton’s pivotal leadership in deep learning and neural networks has been instrumental in reshaping the landscape of artificial intelligence. Notably, his groundbreaking concept of backpropagation has revolutionized the training of artificial neural networks, enhancing their accuracy by iteratively feeding back error rates, thereby reducing the need for continual human intervention.

According to UCD, the advent of deep learning has catalyzed transformative shifts across a spectrum of industries, catalyzing advancements in search engines, natural language processing, speech recognition, finance, medicine, agriculture, and myriad other domains.

Hinton’s groundbreaking research has paved the way for the ascendancy of generative AI, facilitating the training of models like ChatGPT on vast datasets to comprehend prompts and generate nuanced responses.

Acknowledged as the “godfather of AI” for his seminal contributions, Hinton was conferred with the Ulysses Medal, the highest distinction UCD can bestow, in recognition of his multifaceted achievements. Notable past recipients of this accolade include luminaries such as Prof Noam Chomsky, novelist Frank McGuinness, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, and former Irish President Mary McAleese.

The medal was presented to Hinton by University President Prof Orla Feely during a ceremony held at the Belfield campus in Dublin.

Dr Andrew Hines said Hinton spent decades “understanding the human brain to draw inspiration” to create better computer learning models. “Now that these technologies are integrated into products and services we use every day, the moniker of ‘godfather of AI’ is not an exaggeration.”

However, amidst the accolades and advancements, Hinton has raised poignant concerns regarding the trajectory of AI development. Departing from his position at Google last year to openly address the perils of AI, Hinton has underscored the rapid evolution of AI technologies, contrasting their current capabilities with those of merely five or six years ago.

In interviews conducted last year, Hinton articulated immediate apprehensions regarding AI’s potential to propagate fake imagery, videos, and text, potentially inundating the internet with misinformation and eroding trust in veracity. Moreover, he expressed apprehensions that the proliferation of AI could disrupt labour markets, despite its capacity to alleviate mundane tasks, positing that future iterations of AI might exacerbate this disruption by encroaching upon more varied roles.

(Source: Silocon Republic)

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