After an impressive Google I/O demo of Google Duplex AI system that can call on your behalf to book appointments, there was a widespread outcry concerning the ethics of the technology.
What Is Google Duplex?
Basically, it is an artificial intelligence that can make phone calls for you – and we don’t mean dialing the number, it will legit call and will have an actual conversation with real-life people. This caused a great concern around the tech community, as we are giving a major control of our livelihood to an AI.
Google, on the other hand, said that Duplex isn’t designed to replace humans altogether, it builds to carry out very specific tasks in what Google calls “closed domains”. Moreover, this feature also benefits people with hearing difficulties and can also overcome language barriers.
Google’s Statement On “Google Duplex”
Concerning the ethics, Google has clarified in a statement that the experimental system will have “disclosure built-in”, which means that there will be some sort of addition of verbal announcement to the person on the other end that he or she is, in fact, talking to an AI.
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.
Google is set to start testing the feature in a public beta via Google Assistant at some point in the summer, although an exact release date or the regions it’ll be available in have yet to be announced.