Google Duplex

A lot of people grumble when they call a business or customer service line and wind up talking to a recording instead of a real person. But how would you feel if you spent several minutes conversing with someone on the phone and then later learned that the “person” you spoke to was actually a computer? This may sound like something straight out of science fiction, but with the advent of Google’s new technology, this scenario may become more and more common in real life!

In this video, we’ll discuss Google Duplex, a program that acts as a “virtual concierge” for consumers. Here’s how it works: if you tell your phone to make you an appointment at a local business, the program won’t just reserve one using an online scheduling interface—it will actually call the business and “speak” to an employee. And it’s so skilled at parsing language and responding in a realistic way that the employee may not realize that they’re talking to a digital application. In fact, the AI was initially so convincing that, after its debut, Google later agreed to add a forewarning of sorts to the digital calls so that people wouldn’t be fooled.

As far we’re concerned, this technology is astonishing, thought-provoking, and maybe just a little bit spooky…