The engineer convinced that Google’s AI has a soul has just been fired

After ensuring that Google’s AI had a soul, the engineer in charge of the project has just been fired.

After several weeks of layoff, Blake Lemoine has officially been fired by Google. In June 2022, the engineer had revealed several of his exchanges with LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), the artificial intelligence of the American giant for which he was in charge.

The conversational chatbot had already proven its talent in 2021 during an I/O conference. A year later, the Google engineer believed that LaMDA had developed its own thoughts, but also a real conscience. The program had notably expressed his worries about death, his dreams, as well as a whole range of behaviors imitating human feelings. Blake Lemoine then called on Google to show humanity towards AI, in particular by asking for its consent before carrying out experiments, and by considering it as a full-fledged employee.

A little later, the employee then announced LaMDA’s plan to hire a lawyer. Objective for the AI, to assert its rights in court, in particular by evoking the 13th amendment to the American Constitution, which abolishes slavery and servitude.

Google finally reacts

Following the revelations of Blake Lemoine, Google had first chosen to place its employee on forced leave. A complaint was then filed by the web giant for intellectual property infringement. Finally, the employee receives a dismissal in good and due form reports the site of Big Technology. In a statement, the company says:We felt that Blake’s claims that LaMDA is sentient were completely unfounded and worked to clarify this point with him for many months. (…) It is therefore regrettable that despite a long engagement on this subject, Blake has chosen to persistently violate clear employment and data security policies, which include the need to protect information on the products“.

Despite Blake Lemoine’s claims, Google has again contradicted the claims of its former employee, explaining that several tests had been conducted on LaMDA to determine a possible level of consciousness. All had come to the same conclusion: as promising as it is, the technology is still far from being developed enough to mimic the complexity of the human mind.

Following his dismissal, Blake Lemoine indicated that he approached a lawyer to examine his legal remedies.

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