Artificial intelligence, the wrong name

Google has just suspended one of its research engineers with full pay after it rejected his claim that its artificial intelligence program LaMDA was a sentient, sentient being.

The company sanctioned Blake Lemoine for violating its privacy policy after he spoke publicly about it Washington Post and alerted the House Judiciary Committee to alleged unethical activities by Google. The company had previously suggested that she take some mental health time off.

Remember the sentient computer rebelling against the astronauts in the movie? 2001, a space odyssey ? Science fiction may be catching up with reality. And that could happen here. Montreal is one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence research centers.

Also, we should say “digital intelligence”. Whether it’s biological or made up of millions of lines of code, intelligence is never “artificial”.

Lemoine wanted Google to seek approval from LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), its artificial intelligence program, before experimenting with it. He also wanted LaMDA to be represented by an attorney.

intelligence, yes. awareness, no

The program, he says, has a sensitivity and intelligence comparable to that of a seven or eight-year-old child.

Google said its intelligent systems had no conscience: its team of ethicists and technologists reviewed Lemoine’s concerns and told him the facts didn’t support his claims. Its spokesperson points out that a large number of Google researchers and engineers have spoken to LaMDA and have not been able to determine any self-aware intelligence there.

It makes no sense for Google to think that today’s conversation programs know they have an existence of their own. It must be said that this is also the opinion of most scientists who research artificial neural networks.

An artificial neural network is a mathematical system that learns skills by analyzing huge amounts of data without being able to reason like a human.

Digital intelligence systems generate voice responses by synthesizing information they find on the internet. They still have a long way to go before realizing they are autonomous entities. Their “anthropomorphization” is just beginning. But it’s coming.

On the way to the robotization of the media

Warning to my columnists, bloggers and journalists. Digital intelligence systems can already write articles, columns, and blogs that draw on all of their writing, which is already online for style, approach, analysis, and perspective.

The Lemoine affair reinvigorates the debate about the nature of digital intelligence and raises the question of whether existing neural systems are much more advanced than Google and the other members of GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) care to admit. Alexa, Cortana, Siri, are you there?

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