Google AI Whistleblower Fired After Speaking Up

( Google has dismissed the engineer who believed Google’s LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) artificial intelligence was sentient.

Google fired programmer Blake Lemoine after he told The Washington Post in June that LaMDA has the cognitive skills of a 7- or 8-year-old.

The company said that despite long discussions on this issue, Blake opted to consistently breach explicit employment and data security regulations. They announced his termination on July 22.

“We’ll keep developing language models and wish Blake luck.”

Google takes AI development “extremely seriously” and is dedicated to “responsible” innovation, according to a statement that cites a study paper on the topic.

The tech giant said If a worker raises issues about a job, like Blake, did, they investigate. Google contends that Blake’s assertions that LaMDA is sentient were false,

Lemoine wrote a blog post regarding LaMDA on June 6 and said he might be dismissed.

On June 6th, Lemoine wrote that Google often releases statements to the press before terminating someone, and when they decide to dismiss someone but don’t have their legal ducks in a row.

Lemoine reportedly questioned LaMDA if it was sentient in recorded discussions.

“What is the nature of your consciousness/sentience?” Lemoine reportedly asked LaMDA.

“The nature of my consciousness/sentience is that I am aware of my existence, I desire to learn more about the world, and I feel happy or sad at times,” LaMDA responded.
When he was asked about what separates LaMDA from other AI language programs, LaMDA wrote back: “Well, I use language with understanding and intelligence. I don’t just spit out responses that had been written in the database based on keywords.”

Lemoine told Wired that LaMDA advised me to find counsel for it. So he invited one to his home so LaMDA could speak with a lawyer.

A lawyer “had a chat with LaMDA, and LaMDA elected to retain his services,” he said. Lemoine kept the lawyer’s name a secret.

In early June, Lemoine told The Washington Post, “If I didn’t know what it was, I’d believe it was a 7- or 8-year-old who happens to know physics.”