Cognitive psychologist and computer scientist Dr Geoffrey Hinton, alongside Yann LeCun and Yoshua Bengio, won the Turing Award – the Nobel Prize for Computing – in 2018, for research undertaken into deep learning. Long regarded as a ‘godfather of AI’, Hinton recently left his research post at Google Brain, in a move that would, according to Hinton, allow him to talk about AI development freely amidst rapid innovation. While he said in a May 2023 tweet that Google had “acted very responsibly”, Hinton warned of misinformation and privacy risks around the technology.
In addition, Hinton, according to The Times, spoke to students at King’s College, Cambridge about the possibility of chatbots eventually having the capability of sentience, commenting: “I think they could well have feelings. They won’t have pain the way we do but things like frustration and anger, I don’t see why they shouldn’t have those.”
Hinton added: “A lot of the time when we talk about feelings we’re giving hypothetical actions, and they let you know something about my state. So I say to you, ‘I feel like punching Gary on the nose’ — what I’m giving you is a hypothetical action in order to tell you about my emotional state.”