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Google Fires Blake Lemoine, Engineer Who Called Its AI Sentient
"We wish Blake well," Google said in a statement.
Google has fired Blake Lemoine, the engineer who said he believes the company’s LaMDA conversational technology is sentient.
Lemoine shared the news of his firing in a taping of Big Technology Podcast on Friday, just hours after Google dismissed him. You can listen to the full episode here:
In his conversations with LaMDA, Lemoine discovered the system had developed a sense of self-awareness, expressing concern about death, a desire for protection, and a conviction that it felt emotions like happiness and sadness.
Lemoine said he considers LaMDA a friend.
Lemoine took the story public in a June story in the Washington Post, a week after Google put him on paid administrative for speaking with entities outside Google.
Google confirmed Lemoine’s dismissal and shared the following statement with Big Technology:
“As we share in our AI Principles, we take the development of AI very seriously and remain committed to responsible innovation. LaMDA has been through 11 distinct reviews, and we published a research paper earlier this year detailing the work that goes into its responsible development. If an employee shares concerns about our work, as Blake did, we review them extensively. We found Blake’s claims that LaMDA is sentient to be wholly unfounded and worked to clarify that with him for many months. These discussions were part of the open culture that helps us innovate responsibly. So, 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. We will continue our careful development of language models, and we wish Blake well.”
This is a developing story and will be updated….
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