AI sentience 1: Blake Lemoine and LaMDA, trillions of words, mute idols, and the God who speaks
Earlier this year, a Google engineer went public with his concerns an artificial intelligence chatbot program he had been testing had become sentient. Although his fears were dismissed by Google’s bosses, parts of his conversations with the software reveal the chatbot can speak in shockingly coherent and nuanced language, and even claims itself to have become conscious. How do these kind of programs work and why have they taken such a huge leap forward in recent years? Do we as Christians have anything to fear about the rise of computers which can talk back to us as convincingly as people? And why is speech in particular such a powerful part of our own sense of personhood and who God is?