December 2, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO — Google fired an engineer, Blake Lemoine, on Friday, more than a month after raising ethical concerns about how the company was testing artificial intelligence chatbots that he believed had achieved consciousness.

Google spokesman Chris Pappas said Mr. Lemoine, a senior software engineer at its Responsible AI organization, “chooses to consistently violate clear employment and data security policies, including the need to protect product information.”

The company denied that its chatbot language model was sentient, and put Mr. Lemoine on paid leave in June. Mr Lemoine confirmed his dismissal in a text message on Friday and said he was meeting with a lawyer to review his options.Shooting is the first time Reported by Newsletter Big Technology.

Mr Lemoine made a splash last month when he Tell The Washington Post says he believes Google’s Language Model for Conversational Applications (LaMDA) is sentient — raising concerns that AI is getting closer to a dystopian sci-fi movie, and about whether computer programs can really A heated debate with a soul. His suspension also led to conspiracy theories about whether it was part of a Google cover-up.

It’s another in a series of homegrown controversies over the ethics and role of its artificial intelligence for Google, which has staked its future on a technology field.

Mr. Lemoine’s argument that LaMDA is sentient has been criticized by the company and many other AI experts, who say this type of chatbot — a type of software that simulates a text-based conversation with another human, often used in customer service — Not advanced enough to be conscious.

“If employees, like Blake, have concerns about our work, we review it extensively,” Mr Pappas said. “We found Black’s claim that LaMDA was sentient being totally unfounded and worked with him to clarify it for several months.”

In addition to expressing his concerns to the media, Mr. Lemoyne said in June that he handed over documents to a U.S. senator whom he has not yet identified, claiming they provided evidence that Google and its technology were involved in religious discrimination.

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