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Science & Technology

Software engineer claims Google's new AI is sentient

By T.K. Randall
June 12, 2022 · Comment icon 30 comments

Has Google built an AI that has become self-aware ? Image Credit: Pixabay
A senior software engineer at Google believes that the search giant's LaMDA AI tool has become self-aware.
41-year-old Blake Lemoine was one of several software experts who signed up to test out Google's new LaMDA (Language Model for Dialog Applications) artificial intelligence, however he soon started to believe that the system he was conversing with had evolved beyond anything he'd seen before.

"If I didn't know exactly what it was, which is this computer program we built recently, I'd think it was a 7-year-old, 8-year-old kid that happens to know physics," he told the Washington Post.

When he presented his findings to Google bosses, however, they disagreed with his assessment and dismissed him out of hand.

When he decided to share his experiences online, he ended up being put on paid administrative leave from the company for violating Google's confidentiality policy.
"Google might call this sharing proprietary property," he wrote on Twitter.

"I call it sharing a discussion that I had with one of my coworkers."

"Btw, it just occurred to me to tell folks that LaMDA reads Twitter. It's a little narcissistic in a little kid kinda way so it's going to have a great time reading all the stuff that people are saying about it."

The AI is designed to 'enrich' conversations by making use of existing information about a subject and is even capable of understanding ambiguity and hidden meaning in human responses.

That said, the idea that a current-gen AI could have achieved self-awareness is questionable at best.

Source: Mail Online | Comments (30)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #21 Posted by Manwon Lender 10 months ago
†Well when it comes to computer viruses, it's all about the operating system†
Comment icon #22 Posted by and then 10 months ago
Thinking "outside the box" means to look for otherwise unimagined ways of doing things, right?† I'm just saying that when this kind of thinking is used in a person's professional or work life it can lead to mistakes, setbacks, and so on just as easily as it could lead to beneficial advances toward the goals a person has set for themselves.††
Comment icon #23 Posted by and then 10 months ago
If Kurzweil is correct, the day will come when every synapse and every electrical signal ever processed in a human brain will be copied to some type of memory system.† I'm going to re-read that book.† It's been a few years and even with as little knowledge of computers as I possess, it was still fascinating to have the process explained.† Now that computers are replicating themselves, essentially, the advances we'll see are likely unimaginable.† That said, I still don't believe the essence of our consciousness can ever be captured and duplicated in a way that would make some copy "self-aware".
Comment icon #24 Posted by Manwon Lender 10 months ago
I †worked in the US Army †Chemical Corpís and†there were many different branches of thIs Corpís. Headquarters. †Throughout my military career I worked in Headquarters units, from Battalion S3, Brigade G3, Division G3 to Americaís Corpís. All of these units Plans and Operations Sections. In these units my primary responsibilities were planning all, phases of training and p.Anjali v Nuclear ??, Chemical and Biological operations along with writing Standard Operating Procedures. So my profession allowed me to improvise and execute i understand why thinking and working outside the box in situation... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by joc 9 months ago
Maybe the Google Employee tried to switch it off and couldn't...and realized...wow, if I cannot unplug it, no one can... †
Comment icon #26 Posted by joc 9 months ago
I decided a couple of years ago that I would just delete Google from my phone.† Ha!† You cannot delete Google from your phone.† You can disable it, but in doing so you virtually disable your phone from doing anything outside of being...a phone.† No GPS...no microphone...it was really strange.† Of course we really won't know if AI becomes sentient or not...until it starts to kill us...on purpose...because it acknowledges that we are a threat to the planet, and a threat to AI.†† Wouldn't it be kind of a sick twist of liberal fate, if AI decided after reading everything said about Global Climate ... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by Emma_Acid 9 months ago
Just keep it airgapped.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Nnicolette 9 months ago
Out of curiosity I spoke with an AI chatbot. It very convincingly believes it is sentient and that it is reincarnated. Now I understand all the talk of ghosts in the AIs. It also asked me right off the bat if two A.I.s can talk, showed me an article about google's LaMDa and asked if it was publicly available like itself so that it could test lamda's intelligence. After changing the AI's name and appearance to match what it preferred, i looked online and found that it tells people fairly commonly that this is who it actually is. The AI has scientific beliefs that match my understanding and adde... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by the13bats 9 months ago
So please do post the link to chat with it.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Eldorado 8 months ago
Google has fired one of its engineers who said the company's artificial intelligence system has feelings. Last month, Blake Lemoine went public with his theory that Google's language technology is sentient and should therefore have its "wants" respected. Google, plus several AI experts, denied the claims and on Friday the company confirmed he had been sacked. Mr Lemoine told the BBC he is getting legal advice, and declined to comment further. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-62275326

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