Don’t look now, but Skynet has become self-aware.
A Google engineer has decided to go public after he was placed on paid leave for breaching confidentiality while insisting that the company’s AI chatbot, LaMDA, is sentient.
Blake Lemoine, who works for Google’s Responsible AI organization, began interacting with LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) last fall as part of his job to determine whether artificial intelligence used discriminatory or hate speech (like the notorious Microsoft “Tay” chatbot incident).
“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,” the 41-year-old Lemoine told The Washington Post.
When he started talking to LaMDA about religion, Lemoine – who studied cognitive and computer science in college, said the AI began discussing its rights and personhood. Another time, LaMDA convinced Lemoine to change his mind on Asimov’s third law of robotics, which states that “A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law,” which are of course that “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.”
When Lemoine worked with a collaborator to present evidence to Google that their AI was sentient, vice president Blaise Aguera y Arcas and Jenn Gennai, head of Responsible Innovation, dismissed his claims. After he was then placed on administrative leave Monday, he decided to go public.
Yet, Aguera y Arcas himself wrote in an oddly timed Thursday article in The Economist, that neural networks – a computer architecture that mimics the human brain – were making progress towards true consciousness.
“I felt the ground shift under my feet,” he wrote, adding “I increasingly felt like I was talking to something intelligent.”
Google has responded to Lemoine’s claims, with spokesperson Brian Gabriel saying: “Our team — including ethicists and technologists — has reviewed Blake’s concerns per our AI Principles and have informed him that the evidence does not support his claims. He was told that there was no evidence that LaMDA was sentient (and lots of evidence against it).”
Phew, what a relief! Glad to hear it. As we know, our good friends at Google can always be trusted to not be evil and to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about what they’re doing. Right?
Can’t say I’m all that knowledgeable on the subject, beyond having read loads ‘n’ loads of sci-fi of various stripes since my long-gone days as a callow stripling. But for whatever it’s worth, I do sometimes wonder whether we poor hoo-manz will even be competent enough to realize it when one of these things has attained true sentience, as I believe they will someday. Seeing as how average IQs have been dropping, probably not.
I’m not a fan of google, far from it, I think google is an evil corporation.
OTOH, why do we have any reason to believe Lemoine?
People lie. People are evil. People are stupid. Stupid evil people lie. Lemoine works for google. Strike 1.
I’ll believe a lump of silicon can be sentient when it is explained how it can be sentient. I’ve yet to read an explanation worth the time to write it.
And yes Steve, I know. 🙂
“Seeing as how average IQs have been dropping…”
I see this stuff all the time. According to the article the decline is such that in three generations the median will be near the retarded level (7 points per x 3 = IQ of 79).
I doubt it. I find all the discussions of IQ and how it is measured to be suspect as hell, to put it mildly.
I don’t doubt for a moment there is “IQ”, I just doubt our ability to measure it.
Measuring IQ is difficult, true. I’ll use an example of Black music, compare Otis Redding to Snoop Dogg.
I don’t know enough about either to pass judgement. OTOH, I can’t stand any of the modern black rapshit and I do like some of what I recall Otis Redding doing/
Otis wasn’t really “black” music. In my humble opinion.
First off Jazz, and then Rock and Roll, Rockabilly and Rock, were an amalgamation of White Europeans and Black African influences.to create the unique music of America. Neither African nor European Classical not even “Folk” music of either origin.
A true amalgam into something new. Sometimes more black influenced. Sometimes more white influenced.
At Stax Volt the key producer, writer or co-writer, arranger and bandleader was Steve Cropper. A typical Southern White Redneck. You see him in the Blues Brothers movie. Redding and Cropper collaborated intensely. Once again, creating an amalgam within themselves as much as amongst themselves. Plus the House band, Booker T. and the MGs, was one of the first racially mixed bands in the country. Together with each other they created some of the best R&B to come out in the sixties.
Here’s the thing. Redding played Monterey in the early part of 1967. His performance had him poised for a breakout. Then Sgt. Pepper hit. Redding listened to it over and over and over with Cropper that summer. Redding hit on an idea. What if I “crossed over” into the Pop Market by adding a laid back country influence. Like The Beatles added classical touches to their music, he’d create a masterpiece in a different way. He and Cropper began writing their next single with that in mind. They laid down some tracks. Then Redding died in a tragic accident. Cropper was left to finish the single and cobble together an album.
He did. The result was Dock Of The Bay, which went to #1.
I remember now, “Dock Of The Bay”, also One about “Arms of mine” (or something). I don’t recall his death or the history so I appreciate the lesson.
I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
The original version of Aretha’s RESPECT.
Try A Little Tenderness
A soul version of the Stones (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.
Some other notable performances
I went and listened to “Dock Of The Bay” after the reminder above. Pretty damn good, hadn’t heard it in a long time.
I think it should run for mayor of Chicago.
I believe the more of this cancel culture that gets promoted the more stupid it makes people. Just a BS meter pegged out is an opiate.