Google's AI Can Talk Like Humans, Opens Many Questions

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The Google assistant did such an uncanny impression of a person, incorporating appropriate nuances wherever needed, that the person on the other end was not able to recognize that he was even talking to real person. But with advancements in AI and WaveNet technology from DeepMind, Google can now create new voices in just a few weeks and are able to capture subtleties like pitch, pace, and all the pauses that convey meaning, so that voices are natural-sounding and unique. Responses ranged from feeling creeped out to horrified.

That led to criticism by the likes of technology sociologist Zeynep Tufekci, who described the AI assistant "ethically lost" on Twitter, given the use of computers to deceive real humans by sounding like them.

The post Google Duplex sounds human when it, um, calls to book appointments appeared first on Digital Trends.

When can I try it?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced Duplex earlier this week in the company's annual developer's conference Google I/O and demonstrated how the AI system could book an appointment at a salon and a table at a restaurant.

Google's AI Can Talk Like Humans, Opens Many Questions
Google's AI Can Talk Like Humans, Opens Many Questions

After a public demonstration of its latest experiment in bots garnered disturbed reactions, Google says the AI will identify itself to call recipients as a non-human. Unlike the robotic voices we've grown used to over the years-Siri, Cortana, and even Google's Assistant-the Duplex AI was surprisingly convincing, using words like "um" and expertly changing the inflection of its voice.

"This is what people often do when they are gathering their thoughts", Google engineers Yaniv Leviathan and Yossi Matias said in a Duplex blog post. A second call was also made that went a little off the rails, with Duplex keeping its cool and continuing to carry on the conversation in a way that made sense. Before this week is over, Google announced that it will send out a disclosure or at least come up with a disclosure built-in. Moreover, there were also questions about the abuse of the Duplex Technology like in election campaigns.

Google Duplex, while showcased with huge potential, is still very much a work in progress.

Google said the feature can help hearing-impaired users, or people who don't speak the local language, to carry out tasks over the phone.

It's still unclear how Google intends to handle this disclosure, but it would likely need to take place before the call starts. However, neither of the recordings included any sort of disclosure statement from the digital assistant, and Pichai never talked about disclosure during his keynote. "We want to be clear about the intent of the call so businesses understand the context".

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