That was the question on everyone’s mind when Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed its new A.I. technology, Google Duplex. A demo was played during Google I/O on the 8th May, showcasing how Google Duplex calls and chillingly imitates a human being when scheduling an appointment with an actual person over the phone (It literally just passed the Turing Test). Google Duplex utilizes natural language, deep learning and text-to-speech technology to imitate how a person would talk naturally, adding sounds like “um” or “err” while the system is processing information. This ground-breaking technology raises some legal issues with eavesdropping laws, with a Google spokesperson mentioning that the technology would not be available in states with “all-party” eavesdropping laws. Google also claimed it will ensure people are notified in some way that they are either talking to a robot or being recorded in its final version.

 

* Google I/O is an annual festival for developers with technical talks, code labs and hands-on experiences at Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View.

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