GOOGLE'S CREEPY DUPLEX artificial intelligence (AI) agent will soon start making phone calls on behalf of its human overlords.
At a press event in San Francisco, according to a host of reports, Google revealed that Duplex will be pushed out to a limited number of testers, which means it could soon be calling unsuspecting salon staff and restaurant receptionists in a matter of weeks.
The AI tech was first shown off at Google I/O developers event back in May, where the tech impressed and/or alarmed onlookers with how well it was able to pretend to be a real human.
But we among many others suspected that, despite the fancy stage demo, the tech was a good way off from being tested in the real world. Looks like we were wrong about that.
And we were arguably wrong to worry that Duplex will use its AI smarts to dupe people into thinking they're talking to an actual person, not some very fancy software. That's because, in the latest demos shown off to press, Duplex identified itself as an automated system and notes that it will record the call, basically being pretty transparent with what it is. We still reckon it'll freak out a few robot-fearing folks though.
Fleshy meatbags on the receiving end of the call have the option to say they don't want to be recorded and Duplex will hang up. After that, a human Googler will phone them back and make a booking or request on Duplex and its user's behalf, then opt the business out of receiving such robo-calls in the future.
This whole approach all seems above board and looks like a sensible way to introduce some of the smarter AI tech into every-day life without causing people to kick-up a fuss about the rise of the machines.
However, we doubt Duplex will win the appeal of many receptionists and PAs who could see their job under threat from an AI that can make calls on their boss' behalf and thus potentially render part of their job irrelevant. µ
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