In the recently concluded Google I/O developers conference, Sundar Pichai gave a demonstration of the next development in their Google AI called Google Duplex. It has confused many if it is something new or a development on something existing. So let’s clear the confusion first and see what is Google Duplex. Google Duplex is the next level development on their Google Assistant. It is a separate entity but works in conjunction with the Google Assistant to emulate a natural human voice instead of a machine sounding voice. It was quite a demonstration, but post the demonstration a lot of being said about it, especially many claiming Google to have faked the demonstration. So is Google Duplex fake? Let’s find out.
Has Google Faked Its Duplex AI Model?
Google demonstrated as to how the Google Duplex was able to call and book appointments at the hairdressers, make a reservation at a restaurant, and even book travel tickets. After Google demonstrated the Google Duplex, multiple journalists and experts came to a conclusion that the entire demonstration was not an authentic one but a setup. The calls made were all artificial, made up, and highly edited, raising a major suspicion on Google Duplex ethics. Some of the reasons cited as to why people felt it was a faked demonstration are as follows:
- The calls lacked ambient noise in the background which should have had been there. The entire call had a weirdly quiet background, making the noises from both ends sound really clear.
- There was no network issues cited within the call, not a single crackle and pop of voices which is really not possible, even with all the improvements in the mobile/fixed line calling networks.
- Neither Google Duplex nor the hairdresser or the restaurant reveals any identity of the person speaking or the name of the salon or the restaurant respectively.
- During the process of booking the appointments, no names, numbers, or any other contact information was sought (this could be argued over citing privacy concerns, but Google did not make that clear either, nor about any editing which they may have done to the demonstration AV).
After multiple questions being raised over the Google Duplex demo version, an American media Axios decided to take the matter into own hands and give Google Duplex another go and the results he received proved all above points rather well. Adding fuel to the fire, when asked Google spokesperson about this entire episode, they all have denied to comment on it, as well as give out information about the hotel or the salon to check its authenticity, even if both the outlets are in the Mountain View area near the Google HQ as claimed.
The entire drama and its results give enough proof for speculation that Google may have indeed doctored the AV and faked the Google Duplex demonstration to fool the crowd, media, and its investors, unless proven otherwise.
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