Google has fired engineer Blake Lemoine after he claimed “the birth of intelligence” in the artificial intelligence algorithm LaMDA. Writes about it The New York Times.
The company vehemently denied Lemoine’s claims and noted that LaMDA had gone through 11 different reviews. Google also published a research paper detailing the work involved in responsible development.
According to the company, they carefully analyze the concerns of employees in accordance with the principles of artificial intelligence.
“We found that Blake’s claims that LaMDA is sentient are completely unfounded and have been working with him to clarify this for many months,” said Chris Pappas, a spokesman for the tech giant.
He added that despite being involved in the topic for a long time, Lemoine violated clear employment and data security policies that include the need to protect product information.
“We will continue our careful development of language models and wish Blake all the best,” Pappas added.
In June 2022, Lemoine, in an interview for Washington Post said that one of the company’s AI projects allegedly gained sentience. The engineer also openly wondered if LaMDA had a soul.
In response, Google sent Lemoine on paid leave, accusing him of violating a non-disclosure agreement.
Several members of the research community disagreed with the engineer’s claims. Former Google employee Margaret Mitchell tweeted that systems like LaMDA don’t develop intent, but rather model human communication capabilities.
Scientist and entrepreneur Gary Marcus named Lemoine’s statement is “complete nonsense”.
Recall that in May, Google fired an artificial intelligence researcher due to criticism of the tech giant. The engineer disputed the claim that algorithms could design chips more efficiently than humans.
In April 2021, the head of Google’s AI division left the company after 14 years at the corporation. His departure was linked to the controversial firings of Timnita Gebru and Margaret Mitchell, two leading researchers in the ethics of artificial intelligence.
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