Google reassures critics that Duplex AI will disclose its robot identity

Android приблизился к iOS а Украина- к будущему без справок и очередей за ними. Главное в IT за неделю

At its I/O conference on Tuesday, Alphabet Inc.'s Google previewed Duplex, an experimental service that lets its voice-based digital assistant book appointments on its own.

Google made some exciting announcements at its annual I/O Developer Conference at Shoreline Amphitheater in Silicon Valley on May 9 and 10, 2018, but comments regarding the issues of user privacy and data collection were strangely absent.

To this effect, it is adding to the assistant's code, lines that will help it improve the user's "digital well-being".

Abbass pointed out that unlike Siri, Alexa and other AI assistants, Duplex speaks like a convincing human.

Which brings us back to Duplex and its timing. This dichotomy, confusion, and fear was perhaps best shown in the demonstration of Duplex, an AI that sounded so human that it could book a restaurant reservation without the human on other side being the wiser.

"A vehicle assistance could call the ambulance in case of an emergency like an accident, and in this case, it is a life-saving technology". 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. The system, which was booking a hair appointment on behalf of a person, was able to successfully communicate over the phone with the unsuspecting hairdresser. Some would even argue that the voice assistant performed even better than a real person as many of us find it a little hard to make fluent conversations with strangers.

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In calling about the restaurant reservation, Google's AI was able to seamlessly hdle a series of questions in a almost minute-long conversation and was not flummoxed when told a booking wasn't necessary since the eatery wouldn't be busy.

But should this leap in technology concern us?

"We recognize the importance of the discussion about Google Duplex - and, as stated at the outset, we have to consider full transparency of the technology".

Not like bots don't exist already, but services like Duplex will take the game a notch up. Erik Brynjolfsson, an MIT professor, suggested in an interview with the Washington Post that, "Instead, AI researchers should make it as easy as possible for humans to tell whether they are interacting with another human or with a machine". If AI Duplex uses a human name to gain human trust, then clearly there is an element of deception and the AI would be acting unethically.

"The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments", Pichai said. If it's announcing at the beginning of the call that it's a bot, would businesses be more likely just to hang up on it? Rather, the argument is that we need checks and balances.

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