Science

Google fires engineer who claims ‘sensitive AI’ – Reuters

Blake Lemoine’s claims were “totally unfounded,” the company said.

Google has fired engineer and ethicist Blake Lemoine for violating data security policies. Lemoine released a statement last month that the tech giant had developed a smart artificial intelligence program that speaks to its “rights and identity.”

Lemoine was fired on Friday, and Google confirmed the news to industry blog Big Technology. He’s been on vacation for more than a month since he told the Washington Post that his former employer’s LaMDA (language model for conversational applications) had become conscious.

A former chaplain and Google staff ethicist, Lemoine spoke extensively with LaMDA, noting that the program spoke of his “rights and identity” when the conversation turned to religious territory, and expressed “a deep fear of being destroyed.”

“I recognize a person when I talk to them,” Lemoine told the Post. “It doesn’t matter that they have meat brains in their heads. Or if they have a billion lines of code. I speak to them. And I hear what they want to say, and that’s how I decide what is human and what is not.

Read more

Google Suspends Engineer Over Confidential AI Statement

In a statement confirming Lemoine’s dismissal, the company said it had conducted 11 reviews of LaMDA and “I have found that Blake’s claims that LaMDA is sensitive are completely unfounded.” Even during Lemoine’s interview with the Post, Margaret Mitchell, a former co-head of ethical AI at Google, described LaMDA’s sensitivity as an “illusion,” explaining that after being fed billions of words on the Internet, he could imitate a human. conversation, while remaining completely lifeless.

“These systems mimic the types of interchanges found in millions of sentences and can reproduce any fantasy theme,” linguistics professor Emily Bender told the paper. “Now we have machines that can generate words without thinking, but we never learned to stop imagining there was a mind behind them.”

According to Google, Lemoine’s constant urge to speak up violated his data security policy and led to his firing.

“Unfortunately, despite his long involvement in this topic, Blake still chooses to consistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to protect product information,” the company explained.

“We will continue our careful development of language models and wish Blake all the best.”

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.