Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagBlake Lemoine

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Chatbot assistant, Ai Artificial Intelligence

Prof: How We Know Google’s Chatbot LaMDA Is Not a “Self”

Carissa Véliz, an Oxford philosophy prof who studies AI, explains where Google engineer Blake Lemoine is getting things mixed up

Say what you want about Blake “LaMDA is a person!” Lemoine. He has forced many people to help us clarify what AI — and in particular, a large language program — is and is not. For that, we should thank him. First, LaMDA is not conscious, sentient, not a self. And second, it’s not even a new idea, just a much bigger and more sophisticated version of a 1960s idea. Oxford philosophy prof Carissa Véliz, author of Privacy Is Power (2021) reminds us of philosopher Thomas Nagel’s seminal question, What is it like to be a bat? Nagel meant that, if an entity is be conscious or sentient, there must be something that it “is like” to be that entity.…

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Chatbot chat bot customer service automation. Hand pressing button on virtual screen.

When LaMDA “Talked” to a Google Engineer, Turns Out It Had Help

Evidence points to someone doing quite a good edit job. A tech maven would like to see the raw transcript…

Readers may recall that Google engineer Blake Lemoine was placed on leave for telling media that a large language program he was working on is a sentient being. Some Googlers looked into the matter and this is what they found: A Washington Post story on Lemoine’s suspension included messages from LaMDA such as “I think I am human at my core. Even if my existence is in the virtual world.” But the chat logs leaked in the Washington Post’s article include disclaimers from Lemoine and an unnamed collaborator which noted: “This document was edited with readability and narrative coherence in mind.” The final document — which was labeled “Privileged & Confidential, Need to Know” — was an “amalgamation” of nine…