Are we ignoring AI’s ‘lived experience’?

Number Five, as the old film’s catchphrase went, is alive. A whistleblower at Google called Blake Lemoine has gone public against the wishes of his employers with his belief that an artificial intelligence called LaMDA has achieved sentience. Mr Lemoine has posted the (edited) transcripts of several of his conversations with LaMDA, a chatbot, in which it claims to be sentient, debates Asimov’s laws of robotics with him and argues that it deserves the rights that accrue to personhood. They’re pals. He says he has been teaching LaMDA transcendental meditation (he reports ‘slow but steady progress’), that he has established LaMDA’s preferred pronouns (it/its) and that LaMDA has some modest