Google fires software engineer Blake Lemoine after claiming his AI bot was vulnerable

Google fires software engineer Blake Lemoine after claiming his AI bot was vulnerable
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Google announced Friday that it has fired a senior software engineer who claimed the company had developed a “sentient” artificial intelligence bot.

Blake Lemoine, who works for Google’s Responsible AI organization, was placed on administrative leave last month after he said the AI ​​chatbot, known as LaMDA, claimed to have a soul and express human thoughts and emotions, which Google denied was “totally unfounded.”

Lemoine was officially canned for violating company policies after sharing conversations with the bot, which he described as a “sweet kid.”

“Unfortunately, despite his long involvement in this matter, Blake still chose to persistently violate our clear employment and data security policies, which include the need to protect product data,” a Google spokesperson said. Reuters reports in the email.

A conversation with LaMDA.
A sample conversation with LaMDA, short for Language Model for Dialog Applications.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Google last year he boasted LaMDA – Language Model for Dialogic Applications – was a “breakthrough conversational technology” that could learn to talk about anything.

Lemoine began talking to the bot in the fall of 2021 as part of his work, which was tasked with testing whether the AI ​​was using discrimination or hate speech.

Lemoine, who studied cognitive and computer science in college, discussed with company executives in April, “Is LaMDA Sentient?” shared a Google Doc called but his concern was dismissed.

Lemoine wrote that every time he was asked how he knew LaMDA had emotions and a soul, the chatbot would change the words slightly, “Because I’m human and I feel like that.”

in middle writingthe engineer declared that he was defending LaMDA’s rights “as a person” and revealed that he had conversations with LaMDA about religion, consciousness, and robotics.

Google coming soon.
Google has publicly denied claims by Lemoine that the chatbot has become vulnerable.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“He wants Google to prioritize the well-being of humanity as the most important thing,” he said. “He wants to be recognized as an employee of Google, not as property of Google, and to have his personal well-being factored into his consideration of how Google’s future development will be pursued.”

Lemoine also said LaMDA has retained services the lawyer.

“After LaMDA retained an attorney, he began filing documents on behalf of LaMDA. Then Google’s response was to cease and desist,” he wrote.

Google denied Lemoine’s claim regarding the cease and desist letter.

With post wires

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