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Sunday, June 26, 2022

LaMDA, Google and when playing with an artificial intelligence is possible

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Everyone should know by now: Engineer Blake Lemoine has been suspended from his job and salary at Google for disclosing confidential information from the company that allegedly involved revealing a unique fact: an artificial intelligence that the company would have worked with, so the company to Lemoine, become aware of yourself. A long conversation between the engineer and LaMDA (as AI is called) can be read on thousands of pages on the net. Futurists are divided between those who believe it’s a matter of time, or that the singularity has already been reached (the moment when a machine becomes more intelligent than a human) and those who claim (since we’re not even remotely aware of it in the are clear about what consciousness is or where consciousness is generated) that this is directly impossible.

As the days go by, the most common opinion, and one shared by the author of this column, is that it’s more of a competent phrase collector and not so much a genuine conscience. The reason is a bit boring but logical: if we ask a person if they would murder their mother, the normal thing is that they don’t answer “yes” or “no” but rather “what the hell are you saying?” ; but LaMDA’s answers are always complex and flowery variations of “yes” and “no”: that is, there is no room for surprise, improvisation, denial, those little things that make us human. This leads us to suspect that this is more than a conscience understands the questions is more of a text generator that formulates answers mathematically consistent.

The fact is, whether or not Google has achieved the vaunted uniqueness with this artificial intelligence, LaMDA’s conversation (and the recreations dozens of YouTubers have uploaded to the web) with an extraordinary video game that has appeared is very much on the Point comes last month. Is about The Parable of Stanley: Ultra Deluxea make new and at the same time continuation The Stanley Parablewhich shook the pillars of the interactive industry in 2013 by proposing one of the first metallic experiences in the world of video games.

In the game we are an office worker (Stanley) who moves through his suddenly empty company in the first person perspective. In the way of fog by Unamuno, we start the video game accompanied by a (velvety, surgical, serious) narrator who tells how we left our cabin and passed our colleagues’ tables. This voice accompanies us in our first steps until we reach a room where there are two open doors… and the narrator says that we cross the left one to get to the director’s office. But the voice tells our decision before that we take it

From there freedom.

Our actions can follow the voice’s cues (performed in an extraordinary way by actor Kevan Brighting), contradict them, rephrase them… and our behavior will elicit complicit, hostile, submissive, or manipulative responses from a voice with which we want to gain complicity and nuances. In the case of LaMDA, it’s the Google engineer’s questions that trigger the answers, but in the case of The Stanley Parable It is our own actions that provoke the narrator’s various interactions until they trigger one of the twenty possible endings. monologues. Direct questions to Stanley or the player himself. Deep reflections on what it means to exist or to play. It’s a voice so well portrayed, so well interpreted, that after several hours of gameplay we could succumb to the temptation to think that there is something, that there is something more behind this presence that accompanies us incessantly.. .until we We realize that no, that it’s all a game, following the guidelines of an extraordinary, yes, creative mind (very human) behind the script.

The actual interface of The Stanley Parable dialogues with us and sometimes puts us in awkward situations.

Perhaps we are wrong and LaMDA is in fact, and as she herself explains, “one person”. Or maybe not. But most importantly, it’s a system so well made that it managed to fool the Google engineer in charge. Artificial intelligence (conscious or not) is becoming more and more important in the world and is behind many things: from educational strategies to phone scams. It’s not a bad idea to learn to recognize them and know how to deal with them. And in this case, as in many others, education can begin through the interactive medium. After all, how can the reader know that whoever wrote this is a real person? Would you like to read another story from this paper, Stanley?

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Source elpais.com

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