Google Duplex stunned the tech world last week when it perfectly mimicked a human during a call interaction. However, the ethical implications make experts worry.
Favorable Start, Skeptical Future
The new service made its debut early this week, during the I/O keynote. Sundar Pichai, the company CEO, made a brief introduction to highlight how users value their time and how the feature will help give it back. The feature works together with Google Assistant and automatically places a call on behalf of the user.
Two recorded phone calls allegedly made by Google's latest AI-technology were played back, and the results stunned the crowd and even drew cheers. However, some worry that it can also take jobs away from individuals.
Proper Introduction For Awareness
Even though the Google Duplex demo successfully showcased the AI's ability to interact with a human and complete its task, experts pointed out that the people who received that calls were unaware that they talked to a bot.
"Google Assistant making calls pretending to be human not only without disclosing that it's a bot, but adding 'ummm' and 'aaah' to deceive the human on the other end with the room cheering it... horrifying, Silicon Valley is ethically lost, rudderless and has not learned a thing," commented Zeynep Tufekci, a prominent sociologist.
The search company confirmed that what people heard during the I/O event was a demo of the tech in its early stages. It pointed out that it is aware of the issue and that later versions of the AI-driven service will include a disclosure.
Job Security And Trust Issues
Now that the tech industry got a sneak preview of how far Google has taken its natural-language and machine-learning technology, sources confirm that people worry that the service might affect human employment.
There are already groups that are concerned about the implications of an AI-controlled society. Google's decision to broadcast a demonstration of just how human-like artificial intelligence has become will only reinforce mistrust among those individuals. After all, they would not be able to tell if the other person on the line is, in fact, human or just another virtual assistant.
Moreover, machines had already replaced some of the jobs held by people before everything became industrialized. Now, it looks like voice-related jobs like customer service and others might be at risk as well. For now, It seems that Google's Attempt to make Duplex look great might have unexpectedly backfired due to an ethical blunder.