Google has launched 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.
Duplex scheduling a hair salon appointment:
That is, Google is ‘impersonating’ a human to complete a task.
The Google Duplex technology is built to sound natural, to make the conversation experience comfortable. It’s important to us that users and businesses have a good experience with this service, and transparency is a key part of that. We want to be clear about the intent of the call so businesses understand the context. We’ll be experimenting with the right approach over the coming months.
Allowing people to interact with technology as naturally as they interact with each other has been a long standing promise. Google Duplex takes a step in this direction, making interaction with technology via natural conversation a reality in specific scenarios.
At the core of Duplex is a recurrent neural network (RNN) designed to cope with these challenges, built using TensorFlow Extended (more details here).
Why is Google Duplex damn scary?
Few years down the line, you won’t know what’s real and what’s machine? With Google mastering natural language for machines, one day it can also impersonate you and carry tasks/transactions on your behalf.
Plus, do we need a disclaimer on behalf of humanity that you are now talking to a robot acting like a human being?