Google backtracks, now will tell people a robot is on the phone

Google backtracks, now will tell people a robot is on the phone

Google backtracks, now will tell people a robot is on the phone

This year's I/O 2018 was a bag full of surprises.

"We understand and value the discussion around Google Duplex - as we've said from the beginning, transparency in the technology is important", a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.

This week's Tech Tent comes live from The Future Starts Here, an exhibition at London's V&A Museum that addresses the very issues about our relationship with technology that Google Duplex raises.

As in previous years, the company unveiled a feature before it was ready.

While the company didn't announce a release date for Duplex, Pichai did say that it will be used to update closing/opening hours in Maps within the coming weeks. We are designing this feature with disclosure built-in, and we'll make sure the system is appropriately identified. "We'll be experimenting with the right approach over the coming months".

As Google explains in a blog post, "allowing people to interact with technology as naturally as they interact with each other has been a long-standing promise".

If we can trust Duplex to make our hairdresser appointments, can we also trust it to make an emergency call? 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. It is not yet a finished product, but in the two demos played for the assembled crowd, it still managed to be eerily lifelike as it made bookings at a hair salon and a restaurant. Were there some calls that did not go as smoothly? With perfectly timed pauses, verbal ticks like "um", "uh" and a "mmhmmm" in the first call, the calls showed off how close to real life the new technology is. And for the small businesses which do not have enough customers so that the Digital Assistant can help them make appointments with the customers. It has reiterated its commitment to keeping technology transparent. And that is where the problem lies.

"Nevertheless, this technology is an excellent example of why the technology needs to be ethically aware". 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. Essentially, Google will automatically call businesses during holidays to verify when it will be open.

People are talking: Once people had a little time to listen to the sample calls, many were less than thrilled.

"In the video, AI Duplex said it is calling on behalf of a client". Checks and balances that we now can not guarantee.

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