Sometime this week Lemoine posted to a 200-member list on machine learning with the subject “LaMDA is sentient.” In the private report he stopped asking the question. And seemed more certain of the answer.
“If I didn’t know exactly what it was, which is this computer program we built recently, I’d think it was a 7-year-old, 8-year-old kid that happens to know physics,” Lemoine insisted.
“I know a person when I talk to it,” Lemoine, 41, reportedly said. “It doesn’t matter whether they have a brain made of meat in their head. Or if they have a billion lines of code.
“I talk to them. And I hear what they have to say, and that is how I decide what is and isn’t a person.”
Google cut off access to Lemoine’s Google account “due to his leave.”
Margaret Mitchell, the former co-lead of Ethical AI at Google defended Lemoine. And said that similar technology is used a lot. But needs to be fully appreciated, “It can be deeply harmful to people understanding what they’re experiencing on the internet.”
Mitchell said of Lemoine, that “Of everyone at Google, he had the heart and soul of doing the right thing.”