Google Duplex was one of the best technology demonstrations at I/O 2018, Google’s annual developer conference. The technology which will roll out as a feature for Google Assistant will help users of Google’s digital helper to book appointment or make reservation by calling on your behalf. What makes Google Duplex really unique is not that it can call businesses, but rather, the ability to talk like humans and even maintain the expression.
At I/O 2018, Google demonstrated the technology where the Assistant made two different phone calls and managed to not only understand the context of the person on the other end of the phone line, but also maintain the tone of a human. The technology certainly has an endless number of possibility and internet is not ready to stay calm. A number of users have come up with their own great use cases for Duplex.
The use cases range from breaking up with a girlfriend, to calling parents for extra cash. Sure, the internet could have been more creative but the sentiments resonated with these fan-made videos are definitely on point. Adam Fierman uploaded the video below which shows Duplex being used to break up with his girlfiend. Not only did Adam get the tone right with this video, he also managed to add an element like time and scheduling for the girl to pick up her belongings.
Adam’s video depicts how Assistant is still conceived to be a virtual assistant capable of scheduling your appointments. The second video uploaded by Funny or Die shows Duplex calling the user’s parents to ask for money. This video is particularly scary since it depicts Assistant to know everything about the user including personal details and childhood friends. Funny or Die also plugs into Facebook to talk about a person’s current status, which is definitely not funny.
Another user going by the name Javi took to Twitter to detail what it would be like when Duplex ends up sending error messages on an automated call. Yeah, in real world, no technology is without bugs and this tweet can serve as an eye opener.
Google Duplex: “Hi! Uhm… I’d like to make a dinner reservation for 3.”
Restaurant: “Sure! What time would you like?”
Google Duplex: “it’s, uhh… for tomorrow May the 11th at NULL POINTER EXCEPTION.”
Restaurant: “Internal Exception: Invalid parameter not satisfying: time”.
— JaviAir (@Javi) May 10, 2018
Apart from these funny messages, Google Duplex has raised a lot of questions especially ones centered around ethics of the assistant. Google has now confirmed that it will have a feature added that it will tell people that they are talking to automated bot and not a real person. However, there is still a lot of questions around privacy that Google is not talking about just yet.