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Google Suspends Engineer Who Claimed AI Bot Had Become Sentient

  • Engineer: suspension due to claimed breach of confidentiality
  • Blake Lemoine went public after concerns internally rebuffed
Blake Lemoine
Blake LemoinePhotographer: Martin Klimek for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Blake Lemoine, a software engineer on Google’s artificial intelligence development team, has gone public with claims of encountering “sentient” AI on the company’s servers after he was suspended for sharing confidential information about the project with third parties.

The Alphabet Inc. unit placed the researcher on paid leave early last week on claims he breached the firm’s confidentiality policy, he said in a Medium post titled “May be fired soon for doing AI ethics work.” In the posting, he draws a connection to prior members of Google’s AI ethics group, such as Margaret Mitchell, who were eventually dismissed by the company in a similar fashion after raising concerns.