Google fires software engineer who claimed its AI chatbot is sentient

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By Reuters

<div> <p> – Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it has dismissed a senior software engineer who claimed the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot LaMDA was a self-aware person. </p> <p>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.”</p> <p>“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. </p> <p>Last year, Google said https://bit.ly/3Os9QqD 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. </p> <p>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.</p> <p>Lemoine’s dismissal was first reported by Big Technology, a tech and society newsletter.</p> <p/> </div>