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Introducing … the world’s most lifelike robot created by (surprise surprise) Google!

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Google’s annual developer conference was held last week, and there was one product that caught my attention (and the attention of the 7,000 people in attendance) – the new Google Duplex.

Google prides itself on making life easier for the consumer. CEO, Sundar Pichai says “a big part of getting things done is making a phone call”, so they’ve created what many are suggesting is the world’s most lifelike robot to make calls for you.

Check out the video above where Google Duplex makes a call to a hairdresser and books an appointment. You’ll see that the person on the other end of the phone interacts with Duplex as if it were human.

My take … Yes, it’s very cool (if not a little creepy) but I question how many takes it took to get these examples.

Why didn’t Mr Pichai do a live demonstration? I’m skeptical that perhaps in “real life” duplex could be clunky and annoying for consumers and businesses.

Ethically do we have a responsibility to tell the person on the other end of the line that they are speaking with a robot?

I also question, aren’t phone calls to make appointments becoming a thing of the past? Don’t we use online booking systems to do that now? Is Duplex a quick fix to a problem that will soon disappear?

It’s undeniable that voice technology is getting better and better, so whilst I’m impressed with the advances Google has demonstrated, I’m not convinced we’ll all be integrating Duplex into our everyday lives once it launches.

What do you think?

Allison

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