Google's Duplex AI sounds like a human on the phone... is there a new era?
These days (May 8-10,2018), one of the largest technology conference Google I/O 2018 is presenting the latest news for Android and ChromeOS operating systems. Yesterday Google has introduced something really shocking and impressive...
Several American portals wrote that yesterday was a really big day for technology world... Google has introduced a new digital assistant's function called Google Duplex which is designed to behave and communicate exactly as a person, so it can make real phone calls and schedule appointments.
Duplex is a technology that brings together natural language processing, deep learning, and text-to-speech technique (converts text into spoken voice output) into one service. The engineers have trained the Duplex model to do "natural" pauses (as a person) and change intonation depending on how the conversation flows.
How does it work?
You just ask Google to make you a haircut appointment on Tuesday between 10 and noon and the Google Assistant can now make real phone call for you. Google tried it out on a real hairdressing salon and the lady who communicated with the digital assistant did not even notice she did not call a real person.
Check out this video with the conversation:
It is important to note that Google does not consider this feature as a finished product and there is no guarantee it will be widely available in this form or at all. It is an experiment that works in just three scenarios: making reservations at a restaurant, scheduling haircuts and asking businesses for their holiday hours. Duplex has also a ”self-monitoring capability” that allows it to recognize when conversations have moved beyond its capabilities. Then it signals to a human operator, who can complete the task.
The question is – should the company notify people that they are talking to a robot? Vice president of engineering - Yossi Matias - told it was likely this would happen. Many experts agree, but on the other hand they understand that if the Assistant starts its calls by saying "Hello, I am a robot." then the receiver is likely to hang up.
Has the Google Duplex passed the Turing Test?
The British computer scientist, mathematician and philosopher Alan Turing, who lived in the first half of the 20th century, devised the Turing test as a means of measuring whether a computer was capable of demonstrating intelligent behavior equivalent to or indistinguishable from that of a human.
When Duplex was tested, there was a conversation between a researcher and a computer in which the computer responds the questions. A third person - the evaluator - was tasked with determining which individual in the conversation is human and which is a machine. The machine - Google Duplex - has passed this test.