Google fires software engineer who reveals he talked to sentient AI bot

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Google has fired a software engineer who worked on the company’s artificial intelligence development team over his public contention that he had conversations with a bot that had become “sentient.”

Google confirmed the firing in a statement saying the claims from the engineer, Blake Lemoine, were “wholly unfounded and that he had shared confidential company information to third parties.

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Lemoine made his claim in an interview with the Washington Post in June, saying that LaMDA, the AI bot he interacted with, was a person. Not long after, Google placed him on paid leave.

The company ultimately fired him after he “still chose to persistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to safeguard product information,” according to the statement.

Google says it has looked into the matter extensively, including 11 reviews of LaMDA.

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