Google just gave a stunning demo of Assistant making an actual phone call

#artificialintelligence

Onstage at I/O 2018, Google showed off a jaw-dropping new capability of Google Assistant: in the not too distant future, it's going to make phone calls on your behalf. CEO Sundar Pichai played back a phone call recording that he said was placed by the Assistant to a hair salon. The voice sounded incredibly natural; the person on the other end had no idea they were talking to a digital AI helper. Google Assistant even dropped in a super casual "mmhmmm" early in the conversation. Pichai reiterated that this was a real call using Assistant and not some staged demo.


How Google's Eerie Robot Phone Calls Hint at AI's Future

#artificialintelligence

When a robot rings your phone, you can usually tell right away. Its voice is melodic, it rarely stumbles, and it's unnaturally efficient. The voice betrays its origin before it even has the chance to tell you that you qualify for a free loan, your mortgage payment is overdue, or that your input would really be valuable for a customer survey. Knowing it's a robot also makes it easy to hang up. The minds behind Google Duplex are in the process of changing that paradigm, for better or worse.


Google's plan to replace call center workers with its controversial Duplex AI revealed

Daily Mail - Science & tech

When Google first introduced its phone-calling digital concierge Duplex in May, some thought it sounded too human, while others worried that it would secretly record calls with people. Despite the massive backlash over the system, it appears Google is pushing ahead with plans to replace call center workers across the globe with its AI. According to The Information, Google is already in talks with customers, including a major insurance firm, about creating call center versions of the system. Google is hoping it's Duplex technology will be far more natural and lifelike that its competition. 'At least one potential customer, a large insurance company, is looking at ways it can use the technology, according to the person with knowledge of the project, including for call centers where the voice assistant could handle simple and repetitive customer calls while humans step in when the conversations get more complicated,' The Information said.


Google I/O 2018: How Google's Duplex Demo Stole the Show

WIRED

When a robot rings your phone, you can usually tell right away. Its voice is melodic, it rarely stumbles, and it's unnaturally efficient. The voice betrays its origin before it even has the chance to tell you that you qualify for a free loan, your mortgage payment is overdue, or that your input would really be valuable for a customer survey. Knowing it's a robot also makes it easy to hang up. The minds behind Google Duplex are in the process of changing that paradigm, for better or worse.


Google insists its Duplex AI-powered voice calling is real and will prove it, umms and all

PCWorld

Ever since Google played a demo of Duplex, its AI-powered real-world chatbot, at its I/O developer conference in May, people have been trying to undermine it as unethical, immoral, or just plain fake. Those criticisms haven't deterred Google from its plan to unleash Duplex upon restaurants and hair stylists all over the country. During a demo with media outlets this week, Google said Duplex is set to begin rolling out across the United States sometime this summer. Don't expect it to appear on your Android phone just yet, though. It'll start in limited testing with "a set of trusted tester users," according to The Verge.