KATE THOMPSON DAVY: Google’s ghost in the machine: haunting and lamentation in the AI division
Can the internet giant be blamed for suspending the engineer who said chatbot LaMDA has a soul?
It may be an unwillingness to write another sentence about Elon Musk and Twitter — unless that is only me? — but there is really just one tech story dominating your news feeds this week: shortly before being placed on leave by his employers, an engineer at Google, Blake Lemoine, publicly claimed the artificially intelligent (AI) chatbot he’s been conversing with has become “sentient”.
If you (like me) have been playing “science fiction bingo” with the technology news the last few years, then the few sentences above ought to get you fired up and out of your chair. Lemoine published a transcript of the conversations that convinced him Google’s LaMDA (which stands for “language model for dialogue applications”) has a mind akin to an eight-year-old. An eight-year-old with a penchant for talking about religion and personhood, that is …..