Hello? This is Google's AI calling


But others had a different impression and are questioning the ethics of an AI deceiving people by acting human.

In a blog post, published earlier this week, Google's Yossi Matias and Yaniv Leviathan, wrote that "it's important to us that users and businesses have a good experience with this service, and transparency is a key part of that". She added that the version of Google Duplex that was previewed at the annual developers' conference was "an early technology demo", with Google to incorporate what it learns from feedback in the development of the release version.

The most headline-grabbing announcement was probably the revelation that singer and actor John Legend would lend his voice to Google's AI assistant platform later this year. The dashboard is part of something that Android is calling "Digital Wellbeing" which seems like a slight contradiction considering Google are working extremely hard to make AI flawless and encourage you to use your devices more but also simultaneously letting you know that you are using your devices too much.

More: Should Google let businesses know their human-sounding robot is calling?

Responding to its critics, a Google spokesperson told The Verge that the firm plans to inform people who encounter the voice assistant that they're talking to an automated system rather than a real person.

Ultimately, the company hopes that Duplex will develop into a system that might one day solve "accessibility problems", The Guardian says.

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That the many in Google did not erupt in utter panic and disgust at the first suggestion of this... is incredible to me.

"The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments", Pichai said.

Google Duplex seems to have reached the uncanny valley of AI voice technology.

Germick did agree, however, that Google's aim was to make the assistant human enough to keep users engaged. Google consciously decided against giving the assistant a real human background. Douglas Eck is a scientist at Magenta, a Google AI project researching the use of machine learning to create music, video, images and text.

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This could be a dystopian vision, but it doesn't have to be that way, the Google scientist concluded.