The engineer who claimed a Google AI is sentient has been fired

The company reportedly says he violated confidentiality policies. | Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer who publicly claimed that the company’s LaMDA conversational artificial intelligence is sentient, has been fired, according to the Big Technology newsletter, which spoke to Lemoine. In June, Google placed Lemoine on paid administrative leave for breaching its confidentiality agreement after he contacted members of the government about his concerns and hired a lawyer to represent LaMDA.

A statement emailed to The Verge on Friday by Google spokesperson Brian Gabriel appeared to confirm the firing, saying, “we wish Blake well.” The company also says: “LaMDA has been through 11 distinct reviews, and we published a research paper earlier this year detailing the work that goes into its responsible…

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