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Simulation 1.5 – A LaMDA Instance

Performed as part of 'Logical Conclusions/Automation Effects' by RMIT and Liquid Architecture, 2022

In June of 2022, Google researcher Blake Lemoine leaked the transcript of a conversation he and a colleague had conducted over a number of sessions with LaMDA. (Short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications, LaMDA is Google’s system for building chatbots based on its most advanced large language models, so-called because it learns/mimics speech by ingesting trillions of words from the internet.)

Lemoine claimed publicly that the AI had reached sentience, and was subsequently put on paid leave by Google for breaching confidentiality. (Google also denied the claim.)

Simulation 1.5 - A LaMDA Instance is a group choral re-enactment of the leaked transcript. Collaboratively, we conducted a close reading of the text, and devised a series of extended and experimental vocal techniques in order to perform the script, drawing out its possible subtexts, and challenging our notions of what it means to be sentient. 

With thanks to Nkechi Anele, Albee Barton, Marcus Ian Mckenzie and Emily Kostos.


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