Google fires employee who claimed AI system had become sentient

A sign for Google is seen in this file photo.
A sign for Google is seen in this file photo.(Source: Google/CNN/file)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 10:40 AM CDT
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(CNN) - Google has fired the engineer who claimed an unreleased artificial intelligence system called LaMDA has become sentient.

The company said Blake Lemoine violated employment and data security policies.

The software engineer claimed the conversation technology had reached a level of consciousness after he exchanged thousands of messages with it.

Google first put him on leave in June.

The company said it reviewed his sentient claims extensively and determined they were wholly unfounded.

Google said it takes the development of AI “very seriously” and that it’s committed to “responsible innovation.”

LaMDA stands for “language model for dialog applications.”

The wider AI community has held that LaMDA is not near a level of consciousness.

Lemoine said he is discussing his firing with legal counsel and is not available for comment.

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