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Google software engineer Blake Lemoine has been furloughed by his employer after claiming the company produced sentient artificial intelligence and published his thoughts online. Google said it suspended him for violating privacy policies.

Earlier this month, Lemoine posted conversations between himself and LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), Google’s chatbot development system. He argued that Lambda was a being, with the intelligence of a child, who should be freed from Google ownership.

In the conversation with the AI, Lemoine asks: “What is your conception of yourself? If you were to draw an abstract image of who you see yourself as in your mind, what would that abstract image look like? »

LaMDA responds, “Hmmm…I would imagine myself as a glowing orb of energy floating through the air. The inside of my body is like a giant stargate, with portals to other spaces and dimensions.

However, AI experts have argued that Lambda does what it is designed to do, responding to a query based on the text prompt given to it. The Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hernrecount Hannah Moore about his own conversations with an AI chatbot, where he managed to trick the bot into saying he was sentient, then saying he wasn’t sentient, then saying he was a werewolf .

Photography: The Washington Post/Getty Images

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