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Google Suspends Engineer Who Claims AI Has Consciousness

Google has put engineer Blake Lemoine on paid leave after he claimed that the LaMDA machine learning model was conscious. Writes about it The Washington Post.

In one of the interviews, the developer stated that during the test for discriminatory and hate speech, he “talked” with the model about religion. In the process of communication, Lemoine noticed that LaMDA talks about his rights and considers himself a person.

“If I didn’t know for sure that I was communicating with the model we created, I would have thought that I was talking to a child of seven or eight years old,” the developer said.

The company was critical of Lemoine’s statements:

“Our team, including ethicists and technologists, examined Blake’s concerns in line with our AI principles and informed him that the evidence does not support his claims.”

According to Google spokesman Brian Gabriel, there is no evidence that LaMDA is sentient.

Leumann, in turn, acknowledged that his statements are based on personal experience as a “priest” and not a scientist.

The removal of the engineer from his position in the company was explained by a violation of the confidentiality agreement. Previously, Lemoine discussed his work and Google’s unethical AI practices with a member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

Recall that in May, the company 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 resigned in connection with the dismissal of two leading researchers in the ethics of artificial intelligence.

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