Google has begun rolling out its futuristic Duplex feature, which can automatically make voice calls to restaurants and other businesses on a user’s behalf, to a small group of Pixel owners in “select” cities around the US.
VentureBeat managed to test out Duplex in the real world and recorded what the experience is like when initiating a call through Google Assistant.
But the exchange between Google’s realistic-sounding AI voice and a restaurant on the other side of the call is raising some early concerns about transparency.
I’m calling from Google, so the call may be recorded,” is what Duplex says to begin the conversation.
This disclosure doesn’t at all match up with a promotional video for Duplex that Google posted to YouTube back in June.
But there’s a reason for it: this particular Duplex call was actually placed by a human, according to people familiar with the early tests.
When a human operator at Google places a Duplex call, they don’t disclose anything about Google Assistant or note it’s an automated call.
It sounds very similar to test calls that Google has released during Duplex’s development.
After Google first revealed Duplex and the wow factor of its stunning demo wore off, people were quick to raise concerns about disclosure.
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