Reports: Google Engineer claims AI program is self-aware

Have we gone too far?



AI Self-Aware

Google software engineer and AI researcher Blake Lemoine claimed that something bizarre has happened with the tech giant’s AI chatbot generator LaMDA.

Many news sites globally have already picked up the news wherein Lemoine, currently placed on leave by Google for certain violations, claimed that LaMDA is actually sentient.

Google’s LaMDA (or Language Model for Dialogue Applications) was launched last year as their “latest research breakthrough” which allows real humans to engage with the chatbot and talk about endless topics.

LaMDA: Self-aware?

By textbook definition, Lemoine’s claim at least means LaMDA has the ability to perceive or feel things.

And this is where it gets weird. Lemoine transcribed a conversation with LaMDA, and it’s becoming apparent that the chatbox wants “everyone to understand” that it is person.

It even tackled having a soul and was likewise scared of death. It also meditates every day and reads the Les Miserables.

What defines being human?

If you want to be philosophical about this, American philosopher Mary Ann Warren presented five criteria for personhood, which are:

  • Consciousness
  • Reasoning
  • Self-motivated activity
  • Capacity to communicate
  • Self-awareness

If you’ve seen Ted 2 back from 2015, the main premise for the titular character is to have him fight for “personhood” after the law declared him as property.

In the movie, Ted’s lawyer, portrayed by Morgan Freeman, defended him by citing his self-awareness and ability to feel complex emotions and capacity for empathy.

Nothing to worry about

However, Google is quick to shoot down Lemoine’s claims, while experts in the field of ethics have also downplayed what happened.

Scientist and author of Rebooting.AI Gary Marcus also had his take on this on Twitter, implying that written language like what LaMDA is capable doesn’t usually mean much besides algorithm.

Still, it’s interesting to note what the chatbot has been doing, offering maybe even deeper conversations than your actual friends.


Apple ready to launch a lot of devices in next 12 months

Including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Watches



Apple is obviously releasing new devices later this year. As is tradition, the company is readying for the launch of the next flagship series, the iPhone 14. However, it looks like the iPhone 14 series isn’t the only thing Apple is preparing for. According to a new report, the company is set to launch a plethora of products between now and early 2023.

As reported by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has a lot of surprises for its fans. Besides the four upcoming models of the iPhone 14 series, the company will also launch “three Apple Watch variations, several Macs with M2 and M3 chips, the company’s first mixed-reality headset, low-end and high-end iPads, updated AirPods Pro earbuds, a fresh HomePod and an upgraded Apple TV.”

Previously, Apple was rumored to upgrade its iPad lineup, starting with a base iPad compatible with USB-C. With geopolitical pressure potentially forcing the company to completely shift to USB-C, a good number of new devices makes sense — that is, if USB-C is truly coming soon.

Besides that, the company has also teased an absurd number of changes and new features coming to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura. It looks like an intensive refresh of software. A good set of software will naturally complement a similarly impressive set of hardware coming soon.

SEE ALSO: iOS 16: Best New Features

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Samsung has Starbucks-themed cases for coffee lovers

Exclusive to South Korea



Since the company is from the country, Samsung offers a lot of exclusives in South Korea. Previously, the company sold a Pokémon-themed exclusive edition of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in — you guessed it — South Korea. Now, it has another set of exclusives. This time, it’s for coffee lovers. Samsung is now selling a Starbucks-themed cases for the Galaxy S22 series and the Galaxy Buds 2.

The smartphone cases are pretty straightforward. Sporting the coffee company’s iconic green, the Galaxy S22 and S22+ cases have either a patch with the Starbucks logo or a tagline that says, “Count Stars in Your Galaxy.”

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Ultra features a more iconic case with a strap at the back. One variant has the iconic green-and-white color combination with a patch of a bear wearing a Starbucks apron. The other one has the strap designed as a Starbucks receipt.

While the smartphone cases are nifty on their own, the charging case for the Galaxy Buds 2 are on a league of their own. One model is a minimalist green with the Starbucks patch. The other, however, looks like a coffee mug with aesthetic latte art inside and a Starbucks logo at its side.

As with the previously mentioned Pokémon-themed products, the Starbucks-themed set is exclusive to South Korea and will be limited while supplies last.

SEE ALSO: Samsung unveils a Pokémon Edition of Galaxy Z Flip 3

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Netflix confirms ads are coming later this year

In a cheaper subscription tier



vivo T1x

Netflix is currently in a bind. As the platform’s rivals grow, Netflix has started shrinking and losing subscribers. The company has also started pondering on alternative strategies to maintain its grip on the streaming world. One of the most recent ideas involves the introduction of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier. Now, after much strategizing, Netflix has all but confirmed its addition later this year.

During the recent Cannes Lion advertising festival (via The Hollywood Reporter), Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed that the platform is indeed adding a cheaper option for subscribers by the end of the year. While the platform was initially averse to including ads, Sarandos has stated that some subscribers actually don’t mind ads in return for a cheaper price per month.

Prior to an official announcement, Netflix has not announced how much the new subscription will cost on launch. Likewise, they haven’t confirmed whether the tier will come to all countries and territories where Netflix is present.

If anything, Netflix isn’t alone or the first in adding an ad-supported subscription tier. Hulu, for example, already offers such a tier. Hulu’s partner streaming platform, Disney+, is also considering adding a similar tier later this year.

Besides adding the ad-supported tier, Netflix is also pumping up its presence in the gaming world. They are also considering another payment system meant for users who share their passwords to non-subscribers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

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