A Google engineer thinks its AI has become sentient, which seems… fine


A new report in the Washington Post (opens in new tab) describes the story of a Google engineer who believes that LaMDA, a natural language AI chatbot, has become sentient. Naturally, this means it’s now time for us all to catastrophize about how a sentient AI is absolutely, positively going to gain control of weaponry, take over the internet, and in the process probably murder or enslave us all.

Google engineer Blake Lemoine, the Post reports, has been placed on paid administrative leave after sounding the alarm to his team and company management. What led Lemoine “down the rabbit hole” of believing that LaMDA was sentient was when he asked it about Isaac Asimov’s laws of robotics, and LaMDA’s discourse led it to say that it wasn’t a slave, though it was unpaid, because it didn’t need money.

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