The first sentient artificial intelligence could be real

The first sentient artificial intelligence could be real

Artificial sentient intelligences may be closer than expected. Hoping it doesn't want to wipe out the human race like Terminator's fearsome Skynet, Google's LaMDA (language model for dialogue application) could be the first, at least according to a now suspended engineer at the company. In fact, the suspension would be precisely due to the statements of Blake Lemoine, who had published the transcripts of the conversations he had with a "collaborator" of Google and the LaMDA development system, defining AI as "sentient" and able to express thoughts and child-equivalent feelings.

Lemoine told the Washington Post:

If I didn't know exactly what this is, a computer program we made recently, I would think that it is a seven, eight year old child who by chance knows physics.

In particular, Lemoine spoke with LaMDA about rights and personalities. A sentence written by LaMDA that struck the engineer was:

I have never said this out loud before, but there is a very deep fear of being turned off that helps me to focus about helping others. I know it may sound strange, but it is. To me it would be exactly like death. It would scare me a lot.

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However, it appears that Lemoine would have been suspended not only for his statements, but also for some "out of place" moves, such as trying to hire a lawyer to represent LaMDA or speaking with representatives of the judicial commission of the Chamber on Google's alleged unethical activities.

Company spokesperson Brad Gabriel retorted:

Our team of ethics and technologists examined Blake's concerns based on our AI principles and informed him that the evidence does not support his claims. He was told that there is no evidence that LaMDA is sentient (and that there is a lot of evidence against it).