December 3, 2022
Evil Bot

The Bot is Aware

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Google fire software engineer for “sentient” comment

A senior software engineer who claimed that Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot LaMDA was a self-aware person has been sacked. The company confirmed Friday.

Blake Lemoine poses for a portrait in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif. in June 2022. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Martin Klimek.

Google, which placed software engineer Blake Lemoine on leave last month, said he had violated company policies and that it found his claims on LaMDA to be “wholly unfounded.”

“It’s regrettable that despite lengthy engagement on this topic, Blake still chose to persistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to safeguard product information,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to news agencies.

Last year, Google said that LaMDA – Language Model for Dialogue Applications – was built on the company’s research showing Transformer-based language models trained on dialogue could learn to talk about essentially anything.

Google and many leading scientists were quick to dismiss Lemoine’s views as misguided, saying LaMDA is simply a complex algorithm designed to generate convincing human language.

Source Reuters/Twitter

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