Google could have a new feature that allows your phone to impersonate the human voice. It’s called Duplex, and it sounds creepier than the already creepy AI out there. But it may also be convenient when it comes to dealing with incompetent phone calls that don’t go anywhere. You know… Like the five minutes you spend dealing with automated messages when you call your bank, before you get disconnected and throw your phone across the room in rage.
That is the intention behind creating this human-sounding robot. They want to make people’s lives easier by handling those phone calls that we have to take, but aren’t particularly personal.
Google Assistant Has A Real Phone Call with Unsuspecting People
Google demonstrated Duplex during the I/O keynote. The Google Assistant performed a variety of simple routine calls, like scheduling a hair stylist or making restaurant reservations. They were on the phone with real humans, who did not seem to suspect that the person they were talking to was in fact a super intelligent robot. Google’s assistant went so far as to add random verbal fillers like “umm” and “ahhs” in the middle of their thoughts. And according to the company, they’ve already generated hundreds of similar interactions throughout the course of Duplex’s development.
Duplex’s First Stop? Customer Service Centers.
Duplex will first be applied to automatic customer service centers. That means no more groaning every time you call your bank, insurance, or power company and get an obnoxious and incompetent automated response. “For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine,” reads the release.
The ability to mimic a human voice is certainly a remarkable feat. But it’s also sort of terrifying. To assuage fears, Google has mentioned that this AI bot won’t be able to ask random questions that sway from its territory. “Duplex can only carry out natural conversations after being deeply trained in such domains,” the release notes. “It cannot carry out general conversations.”
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Data Source: engadget.com