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Google fires software engineer who claimed its AI chatbot is sentient

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Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it has dismissed a senior software engineer who claimed the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot LaMDA was a self-aware person.

Google, which placed software engineer Blake Lemoine on leave last month, said he had violated company policies and that it found his claims on LaMDA to be “wholly unfounded.” 

“It’s regrettable that despite lengthy engagement on this topic, Blake still chose to persistently violate clear employment and data security policies that include the need to safeguard product information,” a Google spokesperson said in an email to Reuters.

Last year, Google said that LaMDA — Language Model for Dialogue Applications — was built on the company’s research showing that Transformer-based language models trained on dialogue could learn to talk about essentially anything.

Google and many leading scientists were quick to dismiss Lemoine’s views as misguided, saying LaMDA is simply a complex algorithm designed to generate convincing human language.

Lemoine’s dismissal was first reported by Big Technology, a tech and society newsletter.

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VPNs, X, and Slow Internet Services Are Still Blocked in Pakistan

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Users are reporting poor performance on numerous social media sites due to widespread slowdowns in internet access. Furthermore, X (previously Twitter) has been inaccessible for the past six days, despite the Sindh High Court’s directive to allow access. In the meantime, Pakistan is blocking VPN services.

X Remains Unblockable

On February 17, 2024, the Pakistani government first prohibited access to X when it was discovered that Rawalpindi’s Commissioner had rigged election results. The block is still in effect, even though there has been no official announcement or explanation for it. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the prohibition, the administration has not yet disclosed any plans for reinstatement. Furthermore, officials are giving media outlets conflicting information about the limitations.

Blocked VPN Services

Virtual private network (VPN) services are being widely blocked nationwide, which exacerbates the problem. Apart from limiting accessibility to X, the government has initiated the banning of prominent VPN providers, impeding users’ capacity to establish connections with any server.

sluggish internet access

There is a noticeable slowdown in internet speeds and a decline in performance across Pakistan. The problem hasn’t been acknowledged by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), nevertheless. Even though internet service providers (ISPs) insist there aren’t any outages, consumers on social media sites are nonetheless complaining about poor access.

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Another X, previously Twitter, outage has affected Pakistan.

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Adding to the current difficulties with online connectivity, internet users in Pakistan experienced yet another disturbance when attempting to use the services of social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.

Users from Islamabad and other regions of the nation were unable to use the site for several hours since the service was down.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), which is becoming increasingly concerned about the frequent outages, has not made an official remark about the matter.

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Pakistan

Elections 2024: On February 8, a “suspension” of cellphone and internet services was suggested.

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The suggestion was made at the meeting of the ECP, which was convened to examine the state of law and order in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

According to those with knowledge of the situation, there was a suggestion to cut back on mobile and internet service in vulnerable sections of the nation in time for the general elections in 2024.

The election candidates’ security was also a topic of discussion during the conference, and CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja voiced his worries about the rise in attacks on political gatherings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

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