What was your first reaction when you heard about Blake Lemoine, the Google engineer who announced last month the AI program he was working on had developed consciousness?
If, like me, you’re instinctively suspicious, it might have been something like: Is this guy serious? Does he honestly believe what he is saying? Or is this an elaborate hoax?
Put the answers to those questions to one side. Focus instead on the questions themselves. Is it not true that even to ask them is to presuppose something crucial about Blake Lemoine: specifically, he is conscious?
In other words, we can all imagine Blake Lemoine being deceptive.
And we can do so because we assume there is a difference between his inward convictions—what he genuinely believes—and his outward expressions: what he claims to believe.
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