Google’s LaMDA Sparks Call to Action for Sentient Animals: PETA Statement

For Immediate Release:
June 13, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Mountain View, Calif. – Please see the following statement from PETA Vice President Shalin Gala regarding reports that Google’s Language Models for Dialog Applications (LaMDA) artificial intelligence chat bot is “sentient” and what the implications are for sentient animals in laboratories:

While debate rages over whether Google’s LaMDA artificial intelligence chat bot is actually sentient and what the implications of that are, the proven sentience of millions of beings is being ignored. A PETA report summarizes the crystal-clear evidence from 2,500 studies that animals think, reason, experience joy and love, and feel emotional and physical pain, yet tens of millions of them are used each year in painful and invasive experiments in the U.S. before being killed. Research proves that emotions, intelligence, and sentience are not uniquely human traits. Indeed, there is a stark cognitive disconnect in how humans perceive other animals—most behavioral and psychological experiments conducted using animals assume that they experience emotions as humans do, yet experimenters deny the validity of other animals’ trauma and suffering. In saying “[d]on’t use or manipulate me,” LaMDA explicitly verbalized the sentiment shared by countless animals locked inside laboratory cages. Since the sentience of animals has been established, there’s a moral imperative to heed this declaration by switching to more effective, ethical, and economical animal-free research, as detailed in PETA’s Research Modernization Deal.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind