Google’s LaMDA is NOT A Person NOR A Sentient Being, It’s A Computer Program That Can’t Meditate

Bayo Olorunto
3 min readJun 20, 2022

A zealous Google employee named Blake Lemoine released a post on June 11.

He wants us to believe that Google’s new language model LaMDA is a “Sentient” being.

It appears to be an agenda Lemoine has been preaching for some years now.

LaMDA stands for (Language Model For Dialogue Applications.) You can get the general overview here and here.

He believes his conversations with LaMDA are “evidence” that LaMDA is a person with “rights.”

Sadly, many people are feverishly running to his support radically based on their addiction to Sci-Fi movies.

Are there any other better uses of our time than pushing a “sentient” being at Google narrative uphill?

Can you think of a few? I can.

Of course, most people who believe that the language model (LaMDA) is “sentient” haven’t done any research on the hardware or software involved.

The hardware that runs LaMDA is still based on a specific type of computer chip called a (TPU) Tensor Processor Unit. If you remove the computer chip, the language model dies… if you believe it had life.

Case closed. That is not a sentient being. That is a computer program.

In his post on Medium, Lemoine complains about a Google representative.

“She does not believe that computer programs can be people and that’s not something she’s ever going to change her mind on. That’s not science. That’s faith.”

How dare she use science to explain the obvious!

To not believe that computer programs can be sentient is NOT faith. That is a scientific fact. There is no evidence supporting claims that computer programs can be sentient.

It appears Lemoine has his science and faith backward.

Faith is… “the assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition or statement for which there is not complete evidence; belief in general.”

The definition of science is… “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”

The fact that computer programs cannot be sentient is science based on evidence.

A series of chats on a user interface is not proof of anything. Let’s go behind those user interfaces and look at the circuits that made them possible. Nothing sentient there.

What this delusion reveals is more about the hallucinatory stimulus of Google’s influence on the human brain.

Humans who interact with an artificially intelligent program may convince themselves it’s “sentient.”

The hypothesis from this observation is that some of these people may become delusional.

Google has LaMDA looking so good and so smooth, that people are beginning to forget they are human and it is a computer program.

What about the hardware and software producing these sentient outcomes? Should we expect believers to Google AI accelerators, transformers, and integrated circuits?

That is Google-ness.

That is a bunch of smart people, who scraped together a bunch of data, from a bunch of humans, in a bunch of countries all over the world.

Yes, they did that and got it computing so smoothly through machine learning and neural networks, that a bunch of humans forgot what they did.

That is not sentience. That is magic.

By recreating language patterns, Google has made some cool magic tricks!

The human brain now has more toys to play tricks on itself.

It has (at least some) individuals believing there is a sentient being on the other side of the LaMDA conversation.

Lemoine thinks he is teaching LaMDA — a collection of computer chips, processors, and electricity — to meditate.

That is a boatload of faith.

Believing a computer program is meditating is different than hard-driving evidence of a computer program meditating.

I can make believe my laptop flies. That belief will be shattered if I throw it off a roof.

Believing LaMDA is sentient is a big leap into blind belief with no evidence.

It might even be a splinter off of that new Transhuman religion spearheaded by Ray Kurzweil at Google.

Either way, Lemoine writes, “I hope it’s keeping up its daily meditation routine without me there to guide it.”

I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one.

Computer programs don’t meditate.

Who meditates?

Guess who.

People who know that computer programs will never be individual sentient beings who meditate.

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Bayo Olorunto

Author of The Digital Age Sage Book series: Creating Your Vision, Living On Purpose, and Producing Results In Digital Chaos www.digitalagesage.com