A lot of doubts and criticism did rounds when Google first unveiled its A.I phone chatbot called Duplex in the I/O conference 2018. Journalists and renowned tech critics feared the extent of the human-like AI. Firstly, due to the impossibility of figuring out who is on the receiving end. Secondly, concern over privacy since the previous demo never mentioned anything about recording the call.
To clear the air, Google invited a group of journalists, in a restaurant in Mountain View, California to give insights of the Google Duplex and lash out concern regarding it.
Google Duplex, first revealed in Google conference in 2018, is an A.I system to automatically pick or receive calls to automate things like booking a reservation for a restaurant or giving a best suited time for a meeting.
Unlike previous event, the company gave live demos of the project and even gave a hands-on chance to the press. Many journalists were impressed with the flexibility, Google Assistant’s little pauses, and “umm” and “aha” sounds, similar to human conversations. The assistant AI also initiated conversation with a disclosure. “This is the Google Assistant,” of which many were worried.
Google also announced that the Duplex AI would be rolling out for limited testing in coming weeks. Initially, Google will start out with businesses and restaurants in collaboration with the company.
Duplex AI launch will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows, whether the AI will follow the ethics laid down by Google itself. Talking to The Verge, Google VP of design Nick Fox emphasized that “this is a system with a human fallback.” He also mentioned that The Duplex would be paired with human operators who will take over the call if anything goes out of hand.