Google’s demo of its Duplex technology looked straight out of a sci-fi movie and the crowd at this year’s I/O conference couldn’t control its excitement.
It did look fascinating, but as the dust settled and excitement levels came down, other voices started getting louder. Voices that criticized the feature, saying it mimics human voice and effectively deceives the person who’s on the other end of the call.
Google Assistant making calls pretending to be human not only without disclosing that it’s a bot, but adding “ummm” and “aaah” to deceive the human on the other end with the room cheering it… horrifying. Silicon Valley is ethically lost, rudderless and has not learned a thing.
That the many in Google did not erupt in utter panic and disgust at the first suggestion of this… is incredible to me. What of Google’s famed discussion boards? What are you all discussing if not this?!?! This is horrible and so obviously wrong. SO OBVIOUSLY WRONG. *headdesk*
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Well, Google seems to have taken note of those critics, and has issued a statement confirming the AI calling system would identify itself as a software so there’s no confusion.
“We understand and value the discussion around Google Duplex — as we’ve said from the beginning, transparency in the technology is important,” a Google spokesperson said.
“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.”