Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Google I/O 2018: here's what you may have missed

Take a Break: Google's Digital Wellbeing Initiative Now Rolling Out for YouTube How To Turn On “Remind Me To Take A Break” On YouTube?
Delores Daniels | 12 May, 2018, 14:22

"We really want it to work in cases, say, if you're a busy parent in the morning and your kid is sick and you want to call for a doctor's appointment". The human sounding digital assistant astonished everyone, while it raised some questions on the ethics as well. "Creepy" and "horrifying" were just some of the words used by tech observers to describe Duplex, and they can not be faulted for raising such ethical concerns. "Silicon Valley is ethically lost, rudderless and has not learned a thing".

In its statement, Google said it valued the discussion the demonstration had fostered and said "transparency" around the use of the technology was important.

The most talked-about, futuristic product from Google's developer show isn't even finished - but it's already stoking heated debate. At the moment Duplex isn't a commercially available product, but Google does have plans to start testing Duplex with Assistant later this year. The voice assistant demonstrated at Google I/O was indistinguishable from a human caller, so much so that receivers did not recognise that they were talking to an AI.

But should this leap in technology concern us? The company said it still needs to test how people respond to it.

"Today we announce Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out "real world" tasks over the phone".

The search engine giant stunned fans when it debuted its new AI system - which is able to talk to people over the phone by mimicking a human voice - at its annual tech conference in Mountain View, California, on Tuesday. Over the past year, TimeTrade has been working with Google as it launched the "Reserve with Google" program to let consumers make appointments with businesses right in the Google Maps search window.

Mr Pichai said Google hoped that rather than the "fear of missing out" (FOMO), the company wanted to help people discover the "joy of missing out" (JOMO).

Currently, Google Assistant allows users to pick between one female (the default) and one male voice. Still, if we're going to let machines drive us around and make phone calls for us, why not let them try to make us more intellectually well-rounded, too?

The new tool aims to help developers stay faithful to Google's Material Design system for buttons and navigation, yet still add touches that reflect a brand's individual identity.

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