Google Suspends Engineer Who Said Google AI is Sentient

google ai sentient

Google has reportedly suspended engineer Blake Lemoine after he claimed that one of Google’s AI, LaMDA, is “sentient”.

LaMDA, which stands for “Language Model for Dialog Applications,” is one of several large-scale AI systems that has been trained on large swaths of text from the internet and can respond to written prompts.

Blake published a long transcript of his interview “Is LaMDA sentient?” with the chatbot on Saturday and he also had an interview with Washington Post.

“If I didn’t know exactly what it was, which is this computer program we built recently, I’d think it was a 7-year-old, 8-year-old kid that happens to know physics.” The 41-year old Blake says

Since the publication of his interviews, Blake has been suspended on full pay. According to Google, Blake broke confidentiality rules.

Sentience is the capacity to experience feelings and sensations. The word was first coined by philosophers in the 1630s for the concept of an ability to feel, derived from Latin sentientem (a feeling), to distinguish it from the ability to think (reason). This means that Blake is saying that the AI chatbot LaMDA has the capacity to experience feelings and sensations like a human being.

The statements by Blake have now restarted the debate about Artificial Intelligence and the existence of technology that can think on its own without the aid of human beings.

Google has rejected the claims, saying there is nothing to back them up. Brian Gabriel, a Google’s spokeman, in a statement made available to BBC, said that there was no evidence that Lamda was sentient (and lots of evidence against it).

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Google says LaMDA has undergone 11 “distinct AI principles reviews,” as well as “rigorous research and testing” related to quality, safety, and the ability to come up with statements that are fact-based.

“Of course, some in the broader AI community are considering the long-term possibility of sentient or general AI, but it doesn’t make sense to do so by anthropomorphizing today’s conversational models, which are not sentient,” the company said.”Hundreds of researchers and engineers have conversed with LaMDA and we are not aware of anyone else making the wide-ranging assertions, or anthropomorphizing LaMDA, the way Blake has,” Google said.

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Nigel Jr.
As a tech enthusiast and expert, Nigel Jr. is dedicated to providing in-depth and insightful content on all things technology. With a background in online journalism, product reviewing, and tech creation, Nigel has become a trusted source for all things tech.

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