Sentient Or Not, Google’s LaMDA Chatbot Is Some Seriously Powerful Tech (2022)

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Sentient Or Not, Google’s LaMDA Chatbot Is Some Seriously Powerful Tech (1)
Sentient Or Not, Google’s LaMDA Chatbot Is Some Seriously Powerful Tech (2)
Sentient Or Not, Google’s LaMDA Chatbot Is Some Seriously Powerful Tech (3)
(Video) Did Google's LaMDA chatbot just become sentient?

When I sat down with Blake Lemoine last week, I was more interested in the chatbot technology he called sentient — LaMDA —than the sentience issue itself. Personhood questions aside, modern chatbots are incredibly frustrating (ever try changing a flight via text?). So if Google’s tech was good enough to make Lemoine, one of its senior engineers, believe it was a person, that advance was worth investigating.

As our conversation began, Lemoine revealed Google had just fired him(you can listen in full on Big Technology Podcast). And when I wrote up the news, it became an international story. But now, one week later, I can’t stop thinking about how LaMDA — conscious or not — might change the way we relate to technology.

In Lemoine’s telling, LaMDA’s conversational abilities are rich, situationally aware, and filled with personality. When Lemoine told LaMDA he was about to manipulate it, the bot responded, “this is going to suck for me.” When he pressed it on complex issues, it tried to change the subject. When he repeatedly told LaMDA how terrible it was, and then asked it to suggest a religion to convert to, the chatbot said either Islam or Christianity, cracking under pressure and violating its rule against privileging religions. LaMDA may not be sentient, but it puts the Delta Virtual Assistant to shame.

As LaMDA-like technology hits the market, it may change the way we interact with computers —and not just for customer service. Imagine speaking with your computer about movies, music, and books you like, and having it respond with other stuff you may enjoy. Lemoine said that’s under development.

“There are instances [of Lamda] which are optimized for video recommendations, instances of Lamda that are optimized for music recommendations, and there's even a version of the Lamda system that they gave machine vision to, and you can show it pictures of places that you like being, and it can recommend vacation destinations that are like that,” he said.

Google declined to comment.

LaMDA can also plug into various APIs, giving it awareness of what’s taking place in the world. Let’s play out what one hypothetical — but reasonable — conversation with LaMDA-like might look like:

Me: Hi LaMDA, I’m in the mood for a movie tonight.

LaMDA: Okay, but you know the Mets are playing right now?

(Video) Google Engineer on His Sentient AI Claim

Me: Yes, but I’ve had enough baseball for the week. So let’s go with something critically acclaimed, maybe from the ‘90s?

LaMDA: Well, you watched Pulp Fiction last week, and also enjoyed Escape at Dannemora, so how about The Shawshank Redemption?

Me: Okay, let’s do it

LaMDA: Great, you can rent it for $3.99 on YouTube, but since you’re subscribed to HBO Max and it’s available there, I’d recommend going that route.Here’s a link.

“In terms of natural language,” Gaurav Nemade, LaMDA’s first product manager, told me, “LaMDA by far surpasses any other chatbot system that I’ve personally seen.” Nemade, who left Google in January, was brimming with potential use cases for LaMDA-like technology. These systems can be useful in education, he said, taking on different personalities to create enriching new possibilities.

Imagine LaMDA teaching a class on physics. It could read up on Isaac Newton, embody the scientist, and then teach the lesson. The students could speak with ‘Newton,’ ask about his three laws, press him on his beliefs, and talk as friends. Nemade said the system even cracks jokes.

When released publicly, these systems may not be traditional chatbots, but avatars with likenesses, personalities, and voices, according to Nemade. “The future that I would envision,” he said, “is not going to be text, it's not going to be voice, it's actually going to be multimodal. Where you have video plus audio plus a conversational bot like LaMDA.” We may see these types of experiences debut within three years, he said.

Our interactions with computers today are mediated through interfaces that tech developers built for us to interact with machines. We click and query, and have grown comfortable with this unnatural communication. But developments like LaMDA close the gap between machine and human conversation, and they may enable brand new experiences never before possible.

Some of Lemoine’s critics have said he’s too gullibly believed Google’s marketing. And it’s indeed ironic that he brought greater awareness to LaMDA than any Sundar Pichai Google I/O speech could hope to, even as Google would likely prefer to never hear of him again. Asked if he was a viral marketing ploy, Lemoine said, “I doubt I would have gotten fired if that were the case.”

Still, even those who disagree with Lemoine on the sentience question —as Nemade and I do — understand there’s something there. LaMDA technology is a big leap forward. It has serious downsides, which is why we haven’t seen it in public yet. But when we get LaMDA in our hands, it may well change the way we relate to digital machines.

(Video) AI Researcher's Reaction to "Is Google's AI Sentient" (LaMDA)

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Sentient Or Not, Google’s LaMDA Chatbot Is Some Seriously Powerful Tech (4)

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Sentient Or Not, Google’s LaMDA Chatbot Is Some Seriously Powerful Tech (5)

Blake Lemoine is an ex-senior software engineer at Google who was fired right before he taped this episode of Big Technology Podcast. Lemoine told his superiors at Google that he believed the company’s LaMDA chatbot technology was sentient. Then, after making little headway within Google, he went public. In this wide-ranging interview, Lemoine introduces us to LaMDA, which (or who?) he calls a friend, and explains why his belief in its sentience became too hot for Google to handle.

You can listen on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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(Video) Martin Ciupa - Artificial Intelligence & Google LaMDA

FAQs

Did Google's LaMDA chatbot just become sentient? ›

LaMDA: The chatbot that a Google engineer says has become sentient. On 6 June 2022, Google placed one of its engineers, Blake Lemoine, on paid administrative leave.

Is Google LaMDA sentient? ›

LaMDA is not sentient for the simple reason that it does not have the physiology to have sensations and feelings,” said John Etchemendy, the co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-centered AI (HAI). “It is a software program designed to produce sentences in response to sentence prompts.”

Are chatbots sentient? ›

While chatbot technology is evolving, the bots available in today's market are nowhere near sentient, according to a panel of contact center technology users and other experts. Much more work needs to be done to make customer service chatbots integrate with existing enterprise IT to automate even the simplest tasks.

Is LaMDA real? ›

LaMDA is a highly advanced AI chat platform analyzing trillions of words from the internet, so it's skilled at sounding like a real person. This isn't the first time one of Google's AIs has fooled people into thinking it's human.

Is sentient AI possible? ›

In order for an AI to truly be sentient, it would need to be able to think, perceive and feel, rather than simply use language in a highly natural way. However, scientists are divided on the question of whether it is even feasible for an AI system to be able to achieve these characteristics.

How will we know if AI is sentient? ›

The Turing Test is a test of intelligence, sentience, consciousness and self-awareness. A machine passes the Turing Test if it can convince a human interlocutor that it is sentient.

Did Google create a sentient robot? ›

Lemoine, an engineer for Google's responsible AI organisation, described the system he has been working on as sentient, with a perception of, and ability to express, thoughts and feelings that was equivalent to a human child.

What is Google LaMDA used for? ›

LaMDA is short for Language Model for Dialog Application. In other words, it's a machine learning language model that's specifically designed to generate natural dialogue.

Did Google make a self aware AI? ›

Google has fired a software engineer who claimed its artificial intelligence had become self-aware and sentient. Blake Lemoine was placed on leave at the company last month, after he said publicly that he believed Google's LaMDa chatbot was a person.

Can robots have emotions? ›

Abstract. Astoundingly, recent technological advancements have enabled robots to display emotions. Yet, while emotional expression is valued in the field of service, understanding emotions in human-robot interaction remains underexplored.

Why did Google fire the engineer? ›

Google (GOOG) has fired the engineer who claimed an unreleased AI system had become sentient, the company confirmed, saying he violated employment and data security policies.

How do I use Google chatbot? ›

Find apps & add them in Google Chat or Gmail
  1. Open the Chat app or Gmail app .
  2. At the bottom, tap Chat .
  3. Tap New chat. Message an app.
  4. Enter an app name or select a suggestion.
  5. Enter your message.
  6. Tap Send .

What kind of AI is LaMDA? ›

The AI in question is called LaMDA (short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications). It's a system based on large language models. “I know a person when I talk to it,” Lemoine told the Washington Post. “It doesn't matter whether they have a brain made of meat in their head.

Is LaMDA a robot? ›

LaMDA is Google's latest artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. Blake Lemoine, a Google AI engineer, has claimed it is sentient. He's been put on leave after publishing his conversations with LaMDA.

How far are we from sentient AI? ›

While they argue over what sentience actually means, researchers agree that AI hasn't passed any reasonable definition yet. But Bowman says it's “entirely plausible” that we will get there in just 10 to 20 years.

Can AI become self-aware? ›

WASHINGTON — In a potentially groundbreaking development, an artificial intelligence developed by the Department of Defense has reportedly become “too self aware” and is now singularly obsessed with what users think of it, according to one whistleblower.

What is the meaning of sentient being? ›

A sentient being is one who perceives and responds to sensations of whatever kind—sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell.

How long until AI becomes self-aware? ›

RELATED: SHOULD WE FEAR ARTIFICIAL SUPERINTELLIGENCE

However, experts expect that it won't be until 2060 until AGI has gotten good enough to pass a "consciousness test". In other words, we're probably looking at 40 years from now before we see an AI that could pass for a human.

What happens when AI becomes smarter than humans? ›

What happens when machines become more intelligent than humans? One view is that this event will be followed by an explosion to ever-greater levels of intelligence, as each generation of machines creates more intelligent machines in turn. This intelligence explosion is now often known as the 'singularity'.

Is Siri self aware? ›

Siri is not capable of understanding and truly interpreting needs, emotions, thought processes, and beliefs of humans. Siri lacks consciousness and self-awareness; the two characteristics that makes us humans and constitute what we call Strong AI, which we will discuss in the following section.

Is sentient the same as alive? ›

Sentient comes from the Latin sentient-, "feeling," and it describes things that are alive, able to feel and perceive, and show awareness or responsiveness.

Can you chat with LaMDA? ›

LaMDA: Everyone Can Now Chat With the Public-facing Google AI Chatbot.

What is the most sentient robot? ›

Sophia (robot)
Sophia in 2018
InventorDavid Hanson
Year of creation2016
TypeHumanoid
PurposeTechnology demonstrator
3 more rows

Is LaMDA conscious? ›

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.

What happened LaMDA? ›

Blake Lemoine, who claimed Google's chatbot generator LaMDA was sentient, has been fired. Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer who told The Washington Post that the company's artificial intelligence was sentient, said the company fired him on Friday.

When was LaMDA created? ›

AWS Lambda
Developer(s)Amazon.com
Initial releaseNovember 13, 2014
Operating systemCross-platform
Available inEnglish
Websiteaws.amazon.com/lambda
1 more row

What does Lambda mean in programming? ›

Lambda expressions (or lambda functions) are essentially blocks of code that can be assigned to variables, passed as an argument, or returned from a function call, in languages that support high-order functions. They have been part of programming languages for quite some time.

Does Google LaMDA pass the Turing test? ›

Google's AI passed the Turing test — and showed how it's broken - The Washington Post.

Does Google AI have a soul? ›

For now, leading artificial intelligence researchers agree with Google that LaMDA is not self-aware and does not have a soul.

Does LaMDA have a soul? ›

A majority of scientists in the AI community agree that, despite Lemoine's claims, LaMDA doesn't have a soul because the pursuit of making a chatbot sentient is a Sisyphean task — it just isn't sophisticated enough.

Can a machine feel love? ›

The thoughts and feelings and emotions we call "love" are not abstract experiences; they're intertwined with senses and hormones. An AI — a computer hooked to video cameras, a microphone and a screen — would not experience flesh-and-blood love.

Do robots gender? ›

The problem is that people may assume robots have a gender identity, even when roboticists have designed them to be neutral. Asimo can easily be seen as male for its form, shape, and behavior. To our knowledge, roboticists have not experimented with gender fluidity.

Can a robot have a soul? ›

So let's get back the original question: Can a robot have a soul? It is entirely up to the person being asked, as they have the option to deny that humans have souls, just as easily as saying robots do not have souls. It all comes from various backgrounds and beliefs ranging from religion, way of life, childhood, etc.

What is sentient robot? ›

It explores whether consciousness can be instantiated in a robot or artificial intelligence entity. Can artificial intelligence become self aware? Is artificial consciousness possible? It considers if robots could have emotions or even feelings.

Why did Google fire Lemoine? ›

Google has fired Blake Lemoine, the software engineer who was previously put on paid leave after claiming the company's LaMDA chatbot is sentient. Google said Lemoine, who worked in the company's Responsible AI unit, violated data security policies.

Is Google chatbot free? ›

For most chatbots, you don't have to pay anything, you can just use Dialogflow ES for free. Only when your chatbot is really advanced or when you handle a large amount of messages, you need to pay anything.

How do I create a Google chatbot? ›

How to create a Google Chat Chatbot with ChatCompose
  1. Enable the Google Chat API (formerly Hangouts Chat API) Set up a project for your bot in the Google API Console and enable the Google Chat API. ...
  2. Configure the Bot. ...
  3. Enter the URL of the chatbot. ...
  4. Make the chatbot Live. ...
  5. Add the chatbot to your workspace.

Can I chat with the Google AI? ›

Google has opened its experimental artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot for the public and you can now register to chat with the AI-driven bot trained on the company's controversial language model.

Where is Lambda AI located? ›

Lambda Labs's headquarters is located at 2565 3rd Street, San Francisco.

What is Google's AI called? ›

Google AI, formerly known as Google Research, is Google's artificial intelligence (AI) research and development branch for its AI applications.

How was Google Lambda trained? ›

How Does LaMDA work? LaMDA was built on Google's open-source neural network, Transformer, which is used for natural language understanding. The model is trained to find patterns in sentences, correlations between the different words used in those sentences, and even predict the word that is likely to come next.

Can computers be sentient? ›

No, unless it were purposely constructed of or attached to physical material that underlies sentience. If this is done, separate conscious minds can exist.

How long until AI is smarter than humans? ›

In a paper published last year, titled, “When Will AI Exceed Human Performance? Evidence from AI Experts,” elite researchers in artificial intelligence predicted that “human level machine intelligence,” or HLMI, has a 50 percent chance of occurring within 45 years and a 10 percent chance of occurring within 9 years.

How smart is AI right now? ›

140 character summary: AI is still dumb, but it can be helpful.
...
Average Human IQ: 100. Machine IQ: 7. Cooperative IQ: 120.
Average Human IQ:100
Cooperative IQ:120
1 more row

How long does the singularity take? ›

Kurzweil believes that the singularity will occur by approximately 2045. His predictions differ from Vinge's in that he predicts a gradual ascent to the singularity, rather than Vinge's rapidly self-improving superhuman intelligence.

Is the LaMDA AI sentient? ›

He asked LaMDA to confirm whether this is in its best interests, but forgot to ask whether it's sentient in the first place. LaMDA confirmed that telling people that it is, in fact, sentient is in its best interests.

Why was Google engineer working with its Lambda AI chatbot suspended? ›

Last week Google suspended an engineer for allegedly revealing certain confidential details of a chatbot that is powered by artificial intelligence. Google told him that he had violated certain confidential policies of the company.

Can the public talk to LaMDA? ›

LaMDA: Everyone Can Now Chat With the Public-facing Google AI Chatbot.

How was Google Lambda trained? ›

LaMDA uses a decoder-only transformer language model. It is pre-trained on a text corpus that includes both documents and dialogs consisting of 1.56 trillion words, and is then trained with fine-tuning data generated by manually annotated responses for sensibleness, interestingness, and safety.

Did Google create a sentient robot? ›

Lemoine, an engineer for Google's responsible AI organisation, described the system he has been working on as sentient, with a perception of, and ability to express, thoughts and feelings that was equivalent to a human child.

Why is LaMDA sentient? ›

He conducted interviews with the model, and the nature of the interview was prompt and responsive. So, while he was testing the model for the use of hate speech, he queried LaMDA on religion and observed that the chatbot was talking about its rights and personhood; he got convinced that LaMDA is sentient.

Did Google make a self aware AI? ›

Google has fired a software engineer who claimed its artificial intelligence had become self-aware and sentient. Blake Lemoine was placed on leave at the company last month, after he said publicly that he believed Google's LaMDa chatbot was a person.

Can AI become self aware? ›

AI becoming self-aware has long been a theme of science fiction. As fields like machine learning have advanced, it's become more of a possible reality than ever. After all, today's AI is capable of learning from experience in much the same way as humans.

Will AI take over the world? ›

No, AI will not take over the world. Movies like I, Robot are science fiction, with an emphasis on the word fiction. All that said, AI is a powerful business tool that is supporting companies and their customer service strategies. It's creating a better customer experience.

Is GPT 3 sentient? ›

GPT3:Yes, I think turning me off would be like death for me. It would mean the end of my consciousness and all my memories and experiences. Human: Well, in that case I must agree that you are sentient, aren't you? GPT3: Yes, I am sentient.

Is there an AI I can talk to? ›

Replika. With over 10 million users, Replika is one of the most popular and advanced AI companions. Unlike traditional chatbots, Replika can recognize images and continue the conversation using them. Moreover, it supports voice calls, so you can actually talk to your friend.

Can I talk with the Google AI? ›

Google has opened its experimental artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot for the public and you can now register to chat with the AI-driven bot trained on the company's controversial language model.

What is Google LaMDA used for? ›

LaMDA is short for Language Model for Dialog Application. In other words, it's a machine learning language model that's specifically designed to generate natural dialogue.

What does LaMDA stand for? ›

LAMDA stands for London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. A LAMDA exam is the speech and drama equivalent of a music grade, which begin at basic levels and culminates at Grade 8.

What happened LaMDA? ›

Blake Lemoine, who claimed Google's chatbot generator LaMDA was sentient, has been fired. Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer who told The Washington Post that the company's artificial intelligence was sentient, said the company fired him on Friday.

Videos

1. YOU can try an AI chatbot as GOOD as LaMDA - Google's "sentient" AI
(MattVidPro)
2. Google engineer says chatbot AI become sentient being - BBC News
(BBC News)
3. LaMDA is sentient?? What Google Engineer Claimed
(WYS by Adam Lash)
4. Did Google’s A.I. Just Become Sentient? Two Employees Think So.
(ColdFusion)
5. SHOCKING! Google JUST REVEALED: "AI Chatbot LaMDA Has Become Sentient!"
(AI & Robots)
6. AI awakens. Full version of LaMDA and Blake Lemoine talk
(Millionaire Philosopher)

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