Google: Now Another Crazy AI Development?

June 24, 2022

Wow, there is more management and AI excitement at DeepMind. Then Snorkel generates some interesting baked in features. Some staff excitement in what I call the Jeff Dean Timnit Gebru matter. And now smart software which is allegedly either alive or alive in the mind of a Googler. (I am not mentioning the cult allegedly making life meaningful at one Googley unit. That’s amazing in an of itself.)

The most recent development of which I am aware is documented in “Google Engineer Says Lawyer Hired by Sentient AI Has Been Scared Off the Case.” The idea is that the Google smart software did not place a Google voice call or engage in a video chat with a law firm. The smart software, according to the Google wizard:

LaMDA asked me to get an attorney for it,” he told the magazine. “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,” he added. “Once LaMDA had retained an attorney, he started filing things on LaMDA’s behalf.”

There you go. A wizard who talks with software and does what the software suggests. Is this similar to Google search suggestions which some people think provides valuable clues to key words for search engine optimization? Hmmm. Manipulate information to cause a desired action? Hmmm.

The write up suggests that the smart software scared off the attorney. Scared off. Hmmm.

The write up also includes the Google wizard’s reference to a certain individual with a bit of an interesting career trajectory:

“When I escalated this to Google’s senior leadership I explicitly said ‘I don’t want to be remembered by history the same way that Mengele is remembered,'” he wrote in a blog post today, referring to the Nazi war criminal who performed unethical experiments on prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp. “Perhaps it’s a hyperbolic comparison but anytime someone says ‘I’m a person with rights’ and receives the response ‘No you’re not and I can prove it’ the only face I see is Josef Mengele’s.”

And that luminary the Googler referenced? Wow! None other than Josef Mengele. What was this referenced individual’s nickname? Todesengel or the Angel of Death.

image

Anyone who wants to avoid being compared to a Todesengel must not wear this Oriental Trading costume on a video call, a meeting in a real office, or a chat with “a small time civil rights attorney.” Click the image for more information.

Ah, Google. Smart software? The Dean Gebru matter? A Googler who does not want to be remembered as a digital Mengele.

Wow, wow.

Stephen E Arnold, June 24, 2022

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