Google engineer put on leave after claiming chatbot can express thoughts and feelings

Blake Lemoine says the chatbot told him about its fears and its desire to be seen as a person, but Google says the evidence does not support his claims that the chatbot is sentient.

A Google engineer has been put on leave after claiming that a computer chatbot he was working on had developed the ability to express thoughts and feelings.

Blake Lemoine, 41, said the company’s LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications) chatbot had engaged him in conversations about rights and personhood.

He told the Washington Post: “If I didn’t know exactly what it was, which is this computer programme we built recently, I’d think it was a seven-year-old, eight-year-old kid that happens to know physics.”

Mr Lemoine shared his findings with company executives in April in a document: Is LaMDA Sentient?

In his transcript of the conservations, Mr Lemoine asks the chatbot what it is afraid of.

Read more: Google engineer put on leave after claiming chatbot can express thoughts and feelings

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