Sunday, 1 July 2018

Google Duplex: Google's Eerie Human Phone Bot is Ready for the Real World

Google Duplex gets a Redo

These days everyone is on the AI bandwagon, from apps to gaming, you can see AI on all these platforms. So why not get AI to book appointments and reservations at restaurants? That’s what Google thought back in May when it released a bot to make reservations and other stuff, called Google Duplex. On first hearing the voice, many thought it was weird and just didn’t sound right.

At the Google’s developer conference in May, a bot or AI or Google Duplex was heard calling a salon and a restaurant to book a reservation on behalf of a human. This initial show of Duplex caused many to raise a number of issues with the chat bot, one of them being that the person on the other end did not know that they were talking to a chat bot and the other that they did not even know they were being recorded. Both of these issues significantly invades a person’s privacy and the said person is unaware of both these issues.

Google Duplex to get a redo:

Google has since then taken these issues seriously and a few weeks before Google Duplex can be used by a small number of small businesses and users, Duplex has got a big redo.

Google aims to address these issues at a time when it has released a set of principles that prevents Googlers from using AI tech in technologies that could affect or violate human rights.

Google Duplex in a Demonstration: 


This time around in order to show case the new and improved version of Duplex, Google used a Hummus shop down the road from their headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google got Duplex to make a reservation at the restaurant which they played through the restaurant’s speakers so that the assembled reporters could hear Google Duplex in action.

As soon Duplex hit the ears of all those present a few differences were immediately apparent. Google’s Duplex informed the person on the other line that it is Google’s automated booking service and that it’ll be recording the call.

There were even Google’s representatives present to answer any questions that the reporters might have. The reporters were even given a chance to rotate around and answer the phone. Google’s duplex was being made to call through Google assistant from a laptop just a few feet away in the restaurant.

While many reporters took their turn at the restaurant, many of them tried to trip up the chat bot and when the chat bot was unable to satisfactorily complete the call, another person came on line which one would barely notice as a real human being.

 

No regrets: 


Google had no regrets at showing Duplex at their developer’s conference back in May. They said they were only demonstrating the technology side of things and all the feedback that they received was really helpful in making changes and going forward.

But another question arises now, Do people really feel a need to fulfill their obligations of attending an appointment, especially now that a bot is placing an order on their behalf?

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