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AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton exits Google, citing concerns over AI risks

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AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton exits Google, citing concerns over AI risks

The godfather of AI, Geoffrey Hinton, just dropped a bombshell: he’s leaving Google. At 75, he’s ringing the alarm bells on the dangers brewing in the AI world.

Hinton’s exit isn’t just any old resignation. It’s a wake-up call, a warning about where AI is heading.

Hinton shared his decision with the New York Times, expressing regret over his work’s unintended consequences. He’s spooked by AI chatbots, seeing their potential to surpass human intelligence as “quite scary.” It’s not just chatbots, though. He’s worried about AI’s overall trajectory.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is all ears. They’re wondering if Microsoft’s cozy relationship with OpenAI is a merger in disguise. This isn’t just tech gossip. The implications for the market are huge.

Microsoft’s playing it cool, insisting OpenAI’s still flying solo. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s VP, says their partnership’s all about fostering innovation and independence. They’re ready to work with the CMA and clear the air.

Over at OpenAI, they’re singing a similar tune. A spokesperson says their partnership with Microsoft helps them stay competitive and independent. But there’s no power play. Microsoft’s non-voting board observer? Just a seat at the table, no control or authority.

The CMA’s got a microscope on Microsoft. They’ve been checking out Microsoft’s cloud services and their merger with gaming titan Activision Blizzard. That deal got the nod this fall, but only after Microsoft played ball and made some changes.

Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI is no small change – billions of dollars. They’re even blending OpenAI’s tech into their own services. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says they’re joined at the hip with OpenAI.

Amidst the drama of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s firing and rehiring, Nadella emphasized Microsoft’s deep involvement and respect for OpenAI’s independence.

“We’re all in on their mission,” Nadella told CNN’s Kara Swisher on her podcast last November. “Their independence? We’re totally cool with it.”

The CMA’s blog post lays it out: “We’ve seen some changes in OpenAI’s governance, some with Microsoft’s involvement.

So, we’re sending out an invitation to comment to figure out if this partnership, with all its recent twists, might actually be a merger and what that means for competition.”

They’re zeroing in on whether Microsoft’s got the real power over OpenAI. The CMA’s process is pretty standard: start with public feedback, then possibly launch a full-blown investigation. Stay tuned, because this saga’s just getting started.

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