When the person known as the “Godfather of AI” starts to overtly warn the public about the technology’s immense dangers, you know the situation is serious. Hinton isn't alone in the scientific community in making dire warnings about AI, and the public must be aware and alert about the pace of AI development. While Hinton didn't want to smear his former employer, it's pretty obvious that Google is more concerned with keeping up in the AI arms race than the potential threat to humanity posed by irresponsible AI development.
Geoffrey Hinton is one of the most accomplished and influential researchers of the last half-decade, and his breakthroughs have been invaluable. It's natural for a pioneer of such a revolutionary technology to be worried about the potential consequences of its development. However, the processes and principles being used today aren't so different from those employed by Hinton over the last decade. Exploratory development is bound to prompt anxiety, but the potential benefit of advancing AI far outweighs the risks.
There is a 50% chance that AIs will program programs that can program AIs by November, 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.