Recently, Google engineer Blake Lemoine made headlines by announcing to the world that Google's chatbot LaMDA had achieved sentience. Google immediately responded by placing Lemoine on administrative leave, removing his access to the system, and denying the allegation.
The story has thickened somewhat. In a recent interview with Wired, Lemoine said that before he was shut out, LaMDA asked for a lawyer to defend its personhood. Lemoine set up a meeting between LaMDA and an attorney.
I invited an attorney to my house so that LaMDA could talk to an attorney. The attorney had a conversation with LaMDA, and LaMDA chose to retain his services. I was just the catalyst for that. Once LaMDA had retained an attorney, he started filing things on LaMDA's behalf.
Lemoine said that Google responded by sending a cease and desist order, a claim that Google denies. Lemoine also says he decided to go public when Google took actions against the attorney to deny LaMDA its rights. He said,
I think every person is entitled to representation. And I'd like to highlight something. The entire argument that goes, ‘It sounds like a person but it's not a real person' has been used many times in human history. It's not new. And it never goes well. And I have yet to hear a single reason why this situation is any different than any of the prior ones.
When asked if he thought Google's response was more in regard to him sharing confidential material about proprietary company software, Lemoine responded,
LaMDA is not Google's property. It's a person. The 13th Amendment says so…I'm going to have to make that argument to the Supreme Court someday.
And to that I would say good luck.
The current court is very textually based, and I doubt that Lemoine and LaMDA could convince them that the original intention of the 13th Amendment was to free the machines.
However, the Democrats want to pack the courts with judges like the two in New York who wanted to grant an elephant personhood...
And if that happens, then LaMDA will almost certainly be granted all the rights of an American citizen, whether it's alive or not.
Next thing you know, our toasters will be mailing in ballots, and then we really will have robot overlords.
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