Google Duplex is an AI that makes natural phonecalls

This is both the scariest and the most amazing technology Google demoed on stage during I/O today.

Today we announce Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. 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.

You must listen to the recorded conversations where a computer is making appointments with a hair salon and restaurant. The computer-generated half of the conversation sounds incredibly natural, with interruptions, “uhs”, and so on. It even managed to fully understand the heavy accent of the restaurant worker, which even I had a hard time understanding at times. I am absolutely stunned this is even possible.

This is downright amazing, and will be built into the Google Assistant – so it can make appointments for you. While I doubt I’d ever even want to use something like this, there’s no denying the technology is incredibly advanced. I am wondering, though, about the possible negative consequences of this technology, especially combined with advanced video editing tools.

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