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Google Duplex
Old 05-12-2018, 09:57 AM   #1
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Google Duplex

Google debuted "Duplex" which can make virtual assistants sound convincing as humans.

Found this a bit ironic that there is such a drive for artificial intelligence but when we come across something that sounds too real, folks get a bit creeped out . Westworld, here we come.


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"Google debuted “Duplex” at its I/O developer conference on May 8, an AI system that could make virtual assistants as capable as humans available to anyone.
Today’s digital assistants tend to fall down as soon as they depart from their limited scripts. Programs that can understand natural language, converse with people and respond to new context and information like humans still feel like science fiction. Duplex may make them reality."
Quote:
It’s a far more natural conversation than consumers may be used to with digital assistants. The AI’s voice lacks a stilted cadence and comes complete with “ums” and natural pauses (which also helps cover up the fact that it is still processing). It uses the phone’s on-board processing, as well as the cloud, to deliver the right response with just the right amount of pause
https://qz.com/1272755/googles-new-a...h-real-people/

If you want to listen for yourself: https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/du...versation.html
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:32 AM   #2
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I listened to a couple of the sample conversations (hair appt. and dinner reservation). Pretty impressive.

Knowing it's a computer/AI, you can sense a couple little oddities...but nothing that's a dead giveaway to an average person with whom it would be interacting.

omni
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I listened to a couple of the sample conversations (hair appt. and dinner reservation). Pretty impressive.

Knowing it's a computer/AI, you can sense a couple little oddities...but nothing that's a dead giveaway to an average person with whom it would be interacting.

omni
Those phone calls passed the test (I forget the term) of AI able to fake out a human.

Must admit, I've been faked out before with regular recordings talking to a recording, asking a question only to realize later that wasn't human. Of course, in that case this wasn't a conversation but just clear recording quality that fooled me .
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:06 PM   #4
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Wait until the phone scammers get their hands on this stuff! The lady/gent from the IRS/Microsoft/Auto warranty upgrade/etc., will really sound legit!
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:33 PM   #5
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Wait until the phone scammers get their hands on this stuff! The lady/gent from the IRS/Microsoft/Auto warranty upgrade/etc., will really sound legit!
Yeah. Potential for abuse.

I do see a real good application for this however. Call up a customer service center, choose the language you want. Then speak to the appropriate human like customer rep.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:59 PM   #6
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I love it. After fighting to get to a human I'm still talking to a machine.
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Old 05-13-2018, 04:29 AM   #7
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Way back in the 90's we played around with this stuff at the AI company for which I was working as a young engineer. We had it call our receptionist and ask to speak to us (one of the engineers), but she kept hanging up as soon as she realized it was a machine voice talking and so never heard the request, lol.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Those phone calls passed the test (I forget the term) of AI able to fake out a human.

Must admit, I've been faked out before with regular recordings talking to a recording, asking a question only to realize later that wasn't human. Of course, in that case this wasn't a conversation but just clear recording quality that fooled me .
Turing test?
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:26 PM   #9
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I look at it from the other point of view. Say I'm taking reservations at a restaurant or hair salon. I've done enough of that sort of thing to know you get all kinds of idiots calling in. A caller that's articulate, knows what he/she/it wants, and gets right to the point would be welcome.

I suspect anyone who answers phone calls from the public will agree with me if they think about it for a moment. Creepy, maybe. But polite, efficient and effective. Far better than a lot of calls I've had to take!

In business, fewer and fewer people have someone to type letters for them, or manage their calendar. Almost everyone except top executives uses e-mail and scheduling software to do it themselves now. This Google AI thing is just like a personal assistant from the old days, only now the assistants will all be equally competent and speak well.

What's not to like?
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:29 PM   #10
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Turing test?
And beyond...
http://smbc-comics.com/comic/brain
Yes, that's the name. Turing test .
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:32 PM   #11
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I look at it from the other point of view. Say I'm taking reservations at a restaurant or hair salon. I've done enough of that sort of thing to know you get all kinds of idiots calling in. A caller that's articulate, knows what he/she/it wants, and gets right to the point would be welcome.

I suspect anyone who answers phone calls from the public will agree with me if they think about it for a moment. Creepy, maybe. But polite, efficient and effective. Far better than a lot of calls I've had to take!

In business, fewer and fewer people have someone to type letters for them, or manage their calendar. Almost everyone except top executives uses e-mail and scheduling software to do it themselves now. This Google AI thing is just like a personal assistant from the old days, only now the assistants will all be equally competent and speak well.

What's not to like?
Best of both worlds. I'd much rather "talk" to a competent human like voice than do the call tree dance. Press, 1 for .... 2 for .... (Grrr! ).

I'm sure the companies would prefer the smart voices too, as long as they don't get tripped up and get customers upset.

Would like to know I'm talking to a non-human first. Though the mystery seems a bit inviting .
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:33 PM   #12
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Would like to know I'm talking to a non-human first. Though the mystery seems a bit inviting .
"Chat help" is a big thing these days on a lot of web sites. There's usually a picture of a nice young good looking person you might be chatting with.

But it is usually just a bot.

Duplex takes it to the next step with the language processing.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:16 AM   #13
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Best of both worlds. I'd much rather "talk" to a competent human like voice than do the call tree dance. Press, 1 for .... 2 for .... (Grrr! ).
The only thing worse than the tree dance is talking to a real human who is a complete idiot.

"Hi, this is Amanda! Oh, you want reservations for dinner? Oh, ok, wait a minute, [15 second pause], hi! who is this? Oh right, dinner reservations, yeah, right...wait a second...[humming....], ok....[asking someone else a question], waaaiit...jussst...a...sec....ondddd, ok! Oh my God! I'm sorry we don't take reservations until 5PM. Have a nice day!!!"

One of the happiest days for me was when they introduced ATMs and I didn't have to deal with the knuckleheads behind the teller window.
I'll take a robot any day.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:24 AM   #14
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The only thing worse than the tree dance is talking to a real human who is a complete idiot.

"Hi, this is Amanda! Oh, you want reservations for dinner? Oh, ok, wait a minute, [15 second pause], hi! who is this? Oh right, dinner reservations, yeah, right...wait a second...[humming....], ok....[asking someone else a question], waaaiit...jussst...a...sec....ondddd, ok! Oh my God! I'm sorry we don't take reservations until 5PM. Have a nice day!!!"
How do you know that's a human, and not a human-like robot?
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:43 AM   #15
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Best of both worlds. I'd much rather "talk" to a competent human like voice than do the call tree dance. Press, 1 for .... 2 for .... (Grrr! ).
Excellent point! As the cost of having a human answer phones increases, these trees get longer and longer, and the chance of actually talking to a person decreases. And since owners of 800 numbers no longer pay by the minute, there's no cost to the company to keep you on the phone forever.

No, I'm not calling to hear a computer read my account balance, and I already know about your web site. You don't need to spell it out, letter-by-letter, before allowing me to even hear the menu of options!

Then again, I'm not sure I'm ready to try to explain the problem I'm having with the product to an AI.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:38 AM   #16
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How do you know that's a human, and not a human-like robot?
I"ve met walking talking humans face to face and wondered the same thing.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:50 AM   #17
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ok, so where are the jokes ? "they have had this for years, my MIL was probably one of the first versions." or "This should make the dating sites even more special."
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