All everyone is talking about from Google I/O keynote was how advanced Google's machine learning and AI has become. In two mindblowing demos on stage, the Google Assitant actually talked on the user's behalf to book a hairdresser's appointment and make dinner reservations.
Now, this isn't the usual robotic voice we hear in typical AI assistants. The entire conversation sounded extremely natural with the Assistant using verbal ticks such as 'um' and 'ah' along with pauses before responding and also stretching out certain words, so much so that it would be near enough impossible to mistake it for an AI assistant.
While this opens exciting new possibilities for the future, it also raises certain questions. The AI assistant did not identify itself as an AI assistant and that has led some people to voice concerns about how the voice technology could deceive people. To alleviate these concerns, Google released a statement on 10 May.
"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.” a Google spokeswoman told The Verge.
As of right now, the technology is not available for public usage and the demo at I/O was only a pre-recorded interaction.
It can be assumed from Google's statement yesterday that whenever Google plans to make the Assistant public, we can expect some kind of verbal confirmation which would establish that you are talking to an AI assistant.
However, as per a report by Bloomberg, the astonishingly human-like demo of the Google Duplex has alarmed tech critics who feel that AI technology is being developed without supervision.