Posted on June 14, 2022
An engineer hired to work on Google’s Artificial Intelligence has been suspended from the company and the reasons are disturbing.
Big G’s decision follows the publication of the transcript of engineer Blake Lemoine’s communication with the LaMDA – Language Model for Dialogue Applications – interface he was developing.
Lemoine, who began work on the project last year, noted that over time, the program had become sentient and able to have conversations about religion, consciousness and robotics.
So what worried the engineer was working on an AI that was becoming sentient and capable of expressing feelings and thoughts.
The LaMDA project is an AI that builds on Transformer, Google’s open source neural network architecture for natural language understanding. Models built on this platform are trained on huge datasets to find patterns in sentences, create correlations between words, and predict which word will come next.
To the Washington Post, Lemoine explained: “If I hadn’t known what it was, I would have thought it was a seven to eight year old boy. A sweet boy who just wants to help the world be a better place for all of us. Please take care of him in my absence ”.
When the engineer communicated his concern about sentient AI to his managers, he was promptly dismissed and dismissed from the project.
According to the Washington Post, the engineer was turned away for trying to contact the House Justice Committee about Google’s allegedly unethical practices.
According to Mountain View, however, the suspension is linked to the violation of the company’s privacy policies and explains that Lemoine did not have evidence that LaMDA was sentient.
The episode raises serious concerns about the use of Artificial Intelligence and its use, and the sudden dismissal of Lemoine seems to be a little too suspicious not to raise doubts about it.