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Google fires software engineer who claimed its AI chatbot is sentient

Reuters
Google fires software engineer who claimed its AI chatbot is sentient

GOOGLE. The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain November 1, 2018.

Toby Melville/Reuters

Google, which placed software engineer Blake Lemoine on leave last month, says he violated company policies and finds his claims on AI chatbot LaMDA to be 'wholly unfounded'

Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday, July 22, it has dismissed a senior software engineer who claimed the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot LaMDA was a self-aware person.

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 Reuters.

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What is LaMDA, Google’s AI-based language model that an engineer claims is sentient?

What is LaMDA, Google’s AI-based language model that an engineer claims is sentient?

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.

Lemoine’s dismissal was first reported by Big Technology, a tech and society newsletter. – Rappler.com

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