Google backtracks, now will tell people a robot is on the phone

12 May, 2018, 14:21 | Author: Rolando Keller
  • YouTube, The Video Giant Wants You to Take a Break from Watching Videos, But Do You?

This year's conference began with a few surprises. Remember that Jordan Peele/Barack Obama video from last month where Peele made the point that we can't possibly comprehend the ways technology can fabricate false realities?

As part of planned updates to the technology Google is now working on making Assistant more visually assistive. Still, even with today's state of the art systems, it is often frustrating having to talk to stilted computerized voices that don't understand natural language.

Umm, aaaah: On Tuesday, Google announced Google Duplex, an eerily human-sounding AI that will work via Google Assistant to make appointments and reservations on your behalf by calling, say, a sushi restaurant and talking with whomever picks up to get you a table.

Artificial intelligence was a key theme at the event, where Google also laid out plans to use AI to help users spend less time on their phone and other devices.

Designers can share their progress on the Material Gallery Android and iOS apps, while users can leave feedback and notes on designs through the app as well.

Google also unveiled a suite of "Digital Wellbeing" apps aimed to cut down on screen time and smartphone addiction. The new voices have also been synthesized from WaveNet.

Google latest software is Android P which is for Google's mobile operating system. This is what is driving "Actions" where Android P will predict the kind of action a user might want to carry out next.

Waymo's driverless auto service is heading to Phoenix before the end of the year.

The audience at the I/O developer conference where the assistant was demonstrated was said to be partly amazed but partly horrified.

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According to Krafcik, Waymo's driverless ride-hailing service will be available to the public in Phoenix later this year.

An example of this, as stated in a report by CNET, is that without native integration with Google, you would have to give a command like "Hey Google, ask LG to preheat the oven to 350 degrees". They ought to see a new entry called "let me take a rest".

Those features are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

This led to critics saying that Duplex would be taking advantage of people by not informing them they were speaking to a robot.

An even cooler feature allows users to instantly colorize old black-and-white photos, or pop out one color and keep the background greyscale.

The other product that's getting a touch of AI and ML is Google News, which has been completely redesigned from scratch.

Perhaps the most stunning feature of Google Duplex is how much like a real person it sounds.

The voice was under control of Google's DeepMind WaveNet software that has been trained using lots of conversations so it knows what humans sound like and can mimic them effectively.

From there, users can create a shortlist of their favorite destinations that they can share with their friends.

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