Google Suspends Engineer Who Claims Its AI Is Sentient

Google Suspends Engineer Who Claims Its AI Is Sentient

Google Whistleblower Punished for Wild Claim

( – On June 11, Blake Lemoine, a Google engineer, published an interview between him and the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA.) He proclaimed the AI from LaMDA is sentient, which did not sit well with his employer. In response, the tech giant suspended him.

Lemoine told The Washington Post that talking with LaMDA is comparable to conversing with a child around seven years old. He worked to present evidence to Google that the AI could express and understand emotions.

Google Vice President Blaise Aguera y Arcas and Head of Responsible Innovation Jen Gennai considered Lemoine’s claims but ultimately dismissed them. So, the engineer decided to make his proof public, resulting in the company placing him on paid administrative leave for violating confidentiality policies.

AI researcher and psychologist Gary Marcus doesn’t agree with Lemoine’s findings. He said technology like this simply pulls from language to match the situation. He feels Lemoine has “fallen in love” with the Google program. He said sentience requires being “aware of yourself in the world,” which is something technology cannot do.

Does the data Lemoine published show some evidence that LaMDA may be far more advanced than the typical AI? If so, what do you think it means for the future?

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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