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By 11 May 2018 | Categories: news

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One of the big talking points at Google I/O 2018 this week has been a demo of their upcoming Duplex platform. The demo involved a Google AI system calling up a hair salon to make an appointment. The salon employee, as well as those attending the I/O 2018 keynote, were all fairly convinced that the AI did not sound robotic at all, and in a lot of ways was able to mimic the mannerisms that an actual human would, including pauses to ‘umm’ and ‘ahh’.

As impressive as the demo was, it did raise one significant red flag for many. Namely that the Duplex AI could impersonate a human being, which in turn highlights how ethical the system actually is. In order to address those concerns, Google has since noted that Duplex will have an element of disclosure built-in.

"We understand and value the discussion around Google Duplex - as we’ve said from the beginning, transparency in the technology is important. We are designing this feature with disclosure built-in, and we’ll make sure the system is appropriately identified. What we showed at I/O was an early technology demo, and we look forward to incorporating feedback as we develop this into a product," a Google spokesperson told The Verge.

Google has noted that disclosure will be a part of Duplex, but is yet to mention whether or not it will be a mandatory feature of the AI platform. With this issue likely to come under more scrutiny in coming months, this developing story is one worth keeping your eye on.

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