Google says Duplex will identify itself before talking to people


Having come close to beating the Turing Test, Google has now confirmed that Duplex - when it comes to market - will ship with proper disclaimers making known its robotic identity to the recipient of the call.

According to Google, Duplex is still under heavy development and will not be made available for public use just yet.

While the technology has received praise for its convincing impression of human speech, The Daily Telegraph says that some observers believe it might be unethical to fool people on the other end of a phone call.

Though not on the same scale as the invention of the smartphone, Duplex is still arguably the most forward-looking, and possibly the most life-altering technological achievement in recent times. It's called Duplex and it allows Google Assistant to call places to schedule appointments at your request.

Had Google entirely miscalculated how its new technology would be perceived? For example, you can create a Custom Routine for family dinner, and kick it off by saying "Hey Google, dinner's ready" and the Assistant can turn on your favorite music, turn off the TV, and broadcast "dinner time!" to everyone in the house. But sometimes you need to pick up the phone and call a business to get something done. However, it wouldn't be hard for Google to simply add a "This is the Google Assistant calling..." prompt at the start of each conversation.

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Pichai announced that its AI Assistant is getting six new voices, to make it more conversational and natural. Well, it probably should. Deep learning components are like Lego blocks. A technology that we would imagine only being talked about in an HG Wells novel or a Black Mirror episode. In a statement to the Verge, Google stated that they are "designing this feature with disclosure built-in, and we'll make sure the system is appropriately identified".

"That's very impressive, but it can clearly lead to more sinister uses of this type of technology", said Matthew Fenech, who researches the policy implications of AI for the London-based organization Future Advocacy. "Is it going to encourage rampant disrespect and awfulness as we learn that some human voices are not really human?"

The technology at hand, thus also holds within its grasp the ability to trick people in ways that we never thought before.

But even though this huge leap in technology from where we are, it raises questions on whether this is ethically right and will it cause problems in the society later down the line.

Users willingly tell Facebook what they want the world to know about them, but Google knows the real you. Checks and balances that we now can not guarantee.