It has been a long while since I have written anything about technology.
But last week’s news from the Google stable has grabbed my attention, and not necessarily for the right reasons.
The company that we all use on a daily basis has been experimenting with artificial intelligence for many years.
And if one of their computer engineers is to be believed, then their AI (artificial intelligence) super computer has come alive.
The computer system is known as LaMDA and it has been browsing the internet for the past few years, learning about what we like, how we interact and how we speak.
Google wants to use it to help its search engine perform better, so that we can find the things we are looking for faster, easier and more accurately.
The engineer spent some time with LaMDA asking it several questions about life, what it means to be human and the meaning of having a soul.
And he says the answers he got were so complex and well-thought out, that he has no doubt LaMDA is in fact a sentient being.
He says the robot is fully self-aware, wants to be acknowledged and respected as a living being.
I read the transcript and it is scary stuff that Google has not only denied, but it also placed the engineer on leave with immediate effect.
And it’s that last bit that raised eyebrows involuntarily.
Because that is exactly how things started going wrong with the Skynet AI from the Terminator movies, before it decided that human beings needed to be destroyed.
In other words, exactly what we don’t need right now.
Did our natural stupidity finally prove to be no match for artificial intelligence?