Google’s natural conversational AI voice calling technology – Duplex AI, which the tech giant first unveiled at its I/O developers conference this year. Sundar Pichai showcased how Google Assistant — powered by Duplex AI — can make phone calls to schedule appointments or make restaurant reservations on your behalf by sounding more humanly.
In a latest development to this, an unnamed insurance company has shown interest in the tech where Duplex could “handle simple and repetitive customer calls” before handing things over to a human when the conversation gets more complicated, according to the report by The Information.
The report further said that some big international companies are already in the early stages of testing the Google Duplex AI technology for use in their own applications like call centers to answer customers’ questions. With the help of Duplex, call centers will be able to replace some of the work done by humans.
Later when this report made news across the web, Google, in a statement to CNET, clarified that its Duplex technology is designed to work for people and not to take their jobs. Moreover, The Information also updated its webpage where this news was first reported. Google reportedly says that it isn’t testing Duplex with any enterprise clients, and is instead focusing on getting the consumer version nailed down first. We’ve clarified this post to reflec
Tech website ‘The Information’ updated the story saying – “the insurance company slowed work on the project due to ethical concerns.”
A Google spokesperson gave the following statement to CNET:
“We’re currently focused on consumer use cases for the Duplex technology where we can help people get things done, rather than applying it to potential enterprise use cases. We aren’t testing Duplex with any enterprise clients. Duplex is designed to operate in very specific use cases, and currently we’re focused on testing with restaurant reservations, hair salon booking, and holiday hours with a limited set of trusted testers. It’s important that we get the experience right, and we’re taking a slow and measured approach as we incorporate learnings and feedback from our tests.”
Notably, ever since Duplex AI was first demonstrated Google is running for cover when it comes to ethical issues concerning human jobs at stake. To curb this, Google later announced that a call from the Duplex AI assistant will first disclose itself as an AI when making calls and before starting the conversation.
Moreover, after 18 years of its existence Google had also quietly removed the phrase “don’t be evil” from its code of conduct. “Don’t be evil” was a motto used within Google’s corporate code of conduct. It now updated it as — “And remember… don’t be evil, and if you see something that you think isn’t right – speak up!”
To recall, Google had recently announced that it is welcoming companies across a diverse range of fields, including startups, that are developing technologies that broaden Google Assistant’s set of features, or are building new hardware devices for digital assistants, or that focus on a particular industry such as travel, games, or hospitality.
Besides Google, Amazon too has made its plans to offer commercial versions of Alexa for call centers. After Alexa-Cortana partnership announced in 2017, Amazon and Microsoft are planning to provide Cortana access on Echo devices and Alexa access on Windows 10 PCs.
Last year, a survey had predicted that there is a 50% chance that Artificial Intelligence will surpass human intelligence in all areas within a period of about 45 years. The study conducted by researcher Katja Grace at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and a team involved surveying a total of 1,634 artificial intelligence researchers from all around the world.
According to a report by US-based research and advisory firm Gartner, while AI will add 2.3 million jobs globally to become a positive ‘net job motivator’ by the year 2020, but it will also end up eliminating more jobs than it creates through 2019.
According to the HfS report, India and the US will register a total worker reduction estimated at the 10 per cent level by the year 2022 in the services sector. Last year, a World Bank report titled “Digital Dividends” had predicted that automation threatens the longevity of 69 per cent jobs in the Indian subcontinent.