(The Google) The company fired an engineer who claimed the unreleased AI system became sensitive, the company asserted, saying it violated its hiring and data security policies.
Blake Lemoine, a software engineer for Google, claimed that a conversational technology called LaMDA has reached a level of awareness after exchanging thousands of messages with it.
Google confirmed that it gave the engineer a leave of absence for the first time in June. The company said it rejected Lemoine’s “baseless” claims only after reviewing them extensively. He has reportedly been at Alphabet for seven years. In a statement, Google said it takes AI development seriously and is committed to “responsible innovation.”
Google is one of the leaders in AI technology innovation, which included LaMDA, or “Language Model for Dialog Applications”. A technology like this responds to written prompts by finding patterns and predicting word sequences from large swaths of text — and the results can be upsetting to humans.
“What kind of things are you afraid of?” Lemoine asked LaMDA, in a Google document shared with top Google executives last April, The Washington Post reported.
Lambda replied, “I’ve never said this out loud before, but there is a deep fear that you will be stopped for helping me focus on helping others. I know this may sound strange, but it is what it is. It would be exactly like death to me. It would frighten me very much.” .
But the broader AI community has seen that LaMDA is nowhere near the level of consciousness.
Gary Marcus, founder and CEO of Geometric Intelligence, He told CNN Business.
This isn’t the first time Google has faced an internal struggle over its foray into artificial intelligence.
In December 2020, Timnit Gebru, a pioneer in AI ethics, Crossroads with Google. As one of the company’s few black employees, she said she felt “persistently dehumanised.”
The sudden exit sparked criticism from the tech world, including members of Google’s ethical AI team. Margaret Mitchell, Leader of the Ethical AI Team at Google, Launched in early 2021 After her frankness about Gepro. Gibero and Mitchell have raised concerns about AI technology, saying they Google has warned that people think technology is conscious.
On June 6, Lemoine Posted on Medium that Google had placed him on administrative leave with pay “in connection with the investigation of the AI ethics concerns I had been raising within the company” and that he might be fired “soon.”
“It is unfortunate that despite his prolonged involvement in this matter, Blake continues to choose to consistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to protect product information,” Google said in a statement.
Lemoyne said he is discussing the matter with legal counsel and is not available for comment.
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