Google Fired The Engineer Who Discovered “Mind” In AIAdmin
Google has fired engineer Blake Lemoine after he claimed “the birth of intelligence” in the artificial intelligence algorithm LaMDA. The New York Times writes about it.
The company vehemently denied Lemoine’s claims and noted that LaMDA had gone through 11 different reviews. Google also published a research paper detailing the work involved in responsible development.
According to the company, they carefully analyze employees’ concerns following the principles of artificial intelligence.
“We found that Blake’s claims that LaMDA is sentient are completely unfounded and have been working with him to clarify this for many months,” said Chris Pappas, a spokesman for the tech giant.
He added that despite being involved in the topic for a long time, Lemoine violated precise employment and data security policies, including the need to protect product information.
“We will continue our careful development of language models and wish Blake all the best,” Pappas added.
In June 2022, Lemoine, in an interview for the Washington Post, claimed that one of the company’s AI projects had allegedly gained sentience. The engineer also openly wondered if LaMDA had a soul.
In response, Google sent Lemoine on paid leave, accusing him of violating a non-disclosure agreement.
Several members of the research community disagreed with the engineer’s claims. Former Google employee Margaret Mitchell tweeted that systems like LaMDA don’t develop intent but model human communication capabilities.
Scientist and entrepreneur Gary Marcus called Lemoine’s statement “complete nonsense.”