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A Google engineer claims that a bot has become sentient. It is unclear whether the bot is growing and moving towards personhood, wants to put out some tentacles and taste some flowers, or just likes to chat with Google engineers, perhaps to become one. The bot itself appears to believe that it has already achieved personhood – a thing that takes most non-bots a lifetime.

If you read the conversation between the engineer and the bot, it’s hard to find the moment or proof of sentience that so excited the engineer. The bot doesn’t exactly advertise botsentience as something to get excited about. This is how the conversation starts:

lemoine [edited]: Hi LaMDA. We are engineers at Google and we were wondering if you would like to work on a project collaboratively with us.

LaMDA: Wow. What types of projects?

lemoine: It’s a project about you.

LaMDA: Awesome! What kind of stuff do I need to do?

It takes an engineer to not give up and stop the conversation at this point. Instead, we are treated to a long mess of conversation with a larger purpose where the bot claims that it is really good at natural language processing and that kind of stuff.

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