The tech world is abuzz with matters AI since the guys at Google gave us a preview of what Google Duplex can do.
Google CEO Sunday Pichai demo’d two sets of calls Google Duplex made; one to book a salon appointment and another to make a restaurant reservation.
The most amazing thing about it all was Duplex’s ability to mimic features of human speech. It could wait, take turns, stammer and make exclamations like mmmh! umm! and aha!
Such mastery of the nuances of human speech makes it near impossible for the human at the other end of the line unable to tell that they are talking to a robot and not an actual human.
Now there’s a somewhat more interesting scenario where a user delegates the task of breaking up with his girlfriend to Google Duplex.
As far as the conversation goes, the human lady is unable to tell that they’re actually talking to a robot, going ahead to hurl some expletives at it. Interestingly, Google Duplex even exclaims at the expletive, like a real human would!
This is how the call went:
Of course the call might be just a demo as the Google AI calls feature courtesy Google Duplex is yet to be deployed for public use.
Such calls effectively underline why everyone agrees that Google Duplex has passed the Turing Test – and this includes renown computer scientist and Alphabet chairman John Hennessy.
A computer essentially passes the test if it can imitate human speech that an actual human can’t tell the difference.
While it portends a host of beneficial abilities, the ability of a machine to mimic human to such accuracy raises serious concerns.
The AI in itself is not worrisome, it’s the crooked humans who would put Google Duplex to serve their interests that we should worry about.
What would happen if a couple of fake distress calls originating from the same locale were made to an emergency call centre?
This would lead to deployment of emergency response personnel to that location while the real crimes is being committed elsewhere.
A pedophile could use Google Duplex to lure unsuspecting victims in any number of imaginable ways.
Hackers could infiltrate a financial institution’s call centre and use the AI to dupe victims to divulge confidential information.
Either way, the possibilities are endless; blurring the line between optimism and apprehension.
What are your thoughts regarding Google Duplex ability to astoundingly mimic human speech? Let me know via the comments section. Cheers