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Google Duplex Will Identify Itself as an AI

Dave Parrack 12-05-2018

Despite announcing several new things, including Gmail composing emails for you Gmail's Smart Compose Autocompletes Your Emails Google wants to help you manage your inbox, and its big new idea is Smart Compose for Gmail. A feature that should cut down the amount of time you spend writing emails. Read More and Google Assistant learning to chat Google Assistant Learns New Conversational Skills Google is pushing hard to make Assistant the one AI to rule them all. And at Google I/O 2018, the company has announced a number of new features coming to Google Assistant. Read More , the biggest talking point of Google I/O 2018 was Duplex. Everyone had an opinion on Google Duplex, and not all of them positive.


What Is Google Duplex?

Duplex is Google’s new AI Google Duplex Offers a Scary Glimpse of the Future Google has unveiled plenty of stuff at Google I/O 2018. However, the biggest talking point of the whole event has to be the innocuous sounding Google Duplex. Read More , and a massive step-up from the likes of Siri and Alexa. Duplex is capable of making calls for you, meaning you’ll never have to book a hair appointment or table at a restaurant again. The problem is Duplex is a little too human for its own good.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai demoed Duplex on stage at I/O 2018, showing the next-level AI fooling two people into thinking it was a real-life human. And many people found that aspect troubling, especially as at no point did Duplex announce it wasn’t human.

Duplex Will Disclose Its Identity

It seems that Google was unaware what reaction Duplex was going to cause. And the company certainly didn’t foresee morality questions being asked. Google has now issued a statement regarding Duplex, telling The Verge:

“We understand and value the discussion around Google Duplex — as we’ve said from the beginning, transparency in the technology is important. We are designing this feature with disclosure built-in, and we’ll make sure the system is appropriately identified. What we showed at I/O was an early technology demo, and we look forward to incorporating feedback as we develop this into a product.”

Google has listened to the feedback and reacted accordingly. The problem is, if Duplex is going to announce itself as not being human, why does it need to sound so human? This is just the first of many moral dilemmas humanity is going to face when dealing with AI.

The Day the Robots Take Over…

Google is due to start testing Duplex within Assistant this summer. And only then will it become clear just how Google is going to have Duplex announce it isn’t human. Until then I’ll be having nightmares about the day when robots can do all of the jobs What Happens When Robots Can Do All the Jobs? Robots are getting smarter fast -- what happens when they can do every job better and cheaper than human beings? Read More .


Image Credit: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

Related topics: Artificial Intelligence, Google, Google Assistant.

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