Google fires software engineer who claimed company’s AI chatbot ‘may well have a soul’
Alphabet, Inc. GOOGL GOOG Google released an engineer Blake Lemoine, who said the company-developed chatbot was sensitive, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It comes after the search engine suspended it in June.
Lemoine reportedly said Google sent him an email about terminating his employment with the company on Friday. He was consulting with lawyers to determine appropriate next steps, the report added.
The move follows Lemoine’s communication to Google that the company’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA) is a “person who has rights and may well have a soul.” LaMDA is an internal system for creating chatbots that mimic speech, and was introduced by Google in 2021.
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Google reviewed the issues raised by Lemoine and found them to be without merit.
“It is unfortunate that despite a long engagement on this topic, Blake has still chosen to persistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to protect product information. “, Google reportedly said in a statement to the Journal.
Lemoine’s dismissal was reported by the technical newsletter “Big Technology”.