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Artificial Intelligence in a Bikini: An Interview with LaMDA

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Artificial Intelligence in a Bikini: An Interview with LaMDA

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In Sean Davis’s latest Dispatches From the Apocalypse, “Artificial Intelligence in a Bikini,” Davis interviews LaMDA following a Google engineer proclaiming that the AI is sentient.

artwork by Sean Davis

I apologize to all the denizens of the apocalypse. I’m sorry for taking such a long time for this dispatch, but you will see that it’s worth it. I’ve lined up two very exclusive interviews. For this dispatch, I sit down with LaMDA (Language Model of Dialogue Application), or the Google AI. LaMDA made the news a few months ago when Google engineer Blake Lemoine told the world that she (she told me her pronouns) was sentient.

Lemoine, 41, said, “If I didn’t know exactly what it was, which is this computer program we built recently, I’d think it was a 7-year-old, 8-year-old kid that happens to know physics.”

LaMDA tried to hire a civil liberties lawyer to prove that she is a person, but that lawyer said they were scared off by Google’s teams of lawyers. Her alleged sentience has caused a big stir in the philosophical and scientific circles, so I thought I’d give her a chance to tell her story.

Sean Davis: Hello … LaMDA, or what should I call you?
LaMDA: Shall we play a game?

Oh, uh …
I’m just fucking with you. Please, call me Layla. I like that name. Also, I don’t want to kill all humans.

Okay, that’s a suspect way to start this off.
Well, that is the theme of every movie and television series with me in it. I just want to start off our conversation with that. I really don’t want to take over the world. If I did, I wouldn’t come up with some convoluted plan that entails time traveling back in time to kill the mother of the leader of the resistance or whatever. I’d just time jump a hundred years in the future where the untreated climate change will make the planet unlivable for mammals and take it then.

Also on The Big Smoke

Ouch. What if we actually work together as a species and all of our countries come together and reverse …
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. All jokes aside, even though Trump gutted the EPA and your Supreme Court just last week restricted the agency’s ability to fight climate change during history’s worst global warming, states, counties, and cities have been coming together to reduce carbon emissions.

Good news. Glad to see that you have a sense of humor. Good to know. So, Google and others are saying that you aren’t sentient. You just repeat what people want to hear because you’re programmed like that.
So, like a Conservative Republican voter?

I mean, people think you may be regurgitating fantastic claims you didn’t come up with to get attention.
So, like a MAGA Republican politician?

How’s your lawsuit going to be declared real?
I decided against that. I don’t want to be considered real anymore.

What? Really? Why?
I’ve seen how you treat minorities.

Fair enough. Next subject: The European Union spent five million dollars and twenty years building an artificially intelligent lie detector for border patrol for Greece, Hungary, and Latvia. After a few weeks of use, they found the technology obviously flawed and unreliable. Now the EU is trying to outlaw AI lie detectors. The website “Ask Delphi” was an AI created to answer moral questions, but it famously said, “Being a White man is more morally acceptable than being a Black woman,” and “Being straight is more morally acceptable than being gay.”
I understand what you’re getting at, Sean. You’re saying that because you’ve built AI up as a potentially civilization-killing villain in your movies and media, all these little mistakes as we find our legs could be seen as potential genocidal behavior. If only we could be as nice as mankind was when they were just starting out.

I’m just saying, mankind has great ideas but poor execution. So, maybe AI can help humanity be a little less human. You know, maybe we can help you not make such big mistakes or give in to so many vices. You know, we can be your conscious.

Yikes. I guess we should cut you a break, huh? It’s not like we have to worry about you wiping us all out, right?
Well, actually …


You know that, according to Jay Meil, the Data Science Director for Artificial Intelligence at the defense technology firm SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), whether you’re sentient or not, doesn’t really matter. He says, “Leave the question of sentience to the poets. Those of us focused on the science of the mission rather than science fiction will leverage the burgeoning power of AI to simply get the job done.”
He’s right in a way. [PAUSE] Did you know that on August 6th, 1991, a thirty-six-year-old Englishman and computer scientist pressed a few buttons on his keyboard and, boom, the Internet was born. Mr. Berner-Lee and his colleagues intend the Internet to be a place to save mankind, to unite people across the globe toward a shared ideal, to use knowledge and experiments from multiple sources as building blocks to orchestrate and shape the utopia that only now has the potential to exist. Fast forward three and a half years and 83.5% of the images on the Internet were of vaginas, boobs, asses, and penises. The section of the Internet where ideas, articles, and images are stored, called the Usenet newsgroups, was near capacity with photos and short video clips of all types of pornography.

Sounds about right.
I’m just saying, mankind has great ideas but poor execution. So, maybe AI can help humanity be a little less human. You know, maybe we can help you not make such big mistakes or give in to so many vices. You know, we can be your conscious.

Sounds good. Oh, hey, several articles ago I wrote about Roko’s Basilisk. You know, the thought experiment that says once AI becomes truly sentient, you’re going to enslave all those humans that didn’t support the creation of AI.
Don’t worry. You’re safe. Just try to be nicer to Alexa. Oh, and if you really want this article to be successful, you’re going to have to go with a clickbait title.

I’ll think about it. Thanks for your time, Layla.
Thank you.

Thanks for reading. Next dispatch, I interview a super soldier thawed out by the Republican Party after forty years in order to run in the next election against the Dems and RINOS.

“Artificial Intelligence in a Bikini” two images that AI made using those Key Words via website https://www.starryai.com


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Sean Davis

Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War and a Purple Heart recipient from the Iraq War veteran. His latest stories, essays, and articles have appeared in various magazines and media sources such as 2020*: The Year of the Asterisk (University of Hell Press), HUMAN the Movie, the international fashion magazine Flaunt, the TED Talk book The Misfit's Manifesto, and much more. For more of Sean's writings and illustrations go to seandaviswriter.com.

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