Google surprised everyone earlier this week when it demonstrated Duplex, an AI-assisted bot that can hold nearly human-sounding conversations. Google envisions Duplex as the ultimate assistant, an automated tool to use for mundane tasks such as calling to schedule a dinner reservation or hair appointment. In the demonstration on stage, the bot did not identify itself as such and this caused some to suggest Google hadn't thought the product through thoroughly. What was striking about the demonstration is that the bot included human-esque speech, such as the word "um" when making decisions on the phone. Some believe Duplex could easily fool those on the receiving end of calls that they were speaking to a real person. "We understand and value the discussion around Google Duplex - as we've said from the beginning, transparency in the technology is important," said a Google spokeswoman in a statement provided to CNET
. "We are designing this feature with disclosure built-in, and we'll make sure the system is appropriately identified. What we showed at I/O was an early technology demo, and we look forward to incorporating feedback as we develop this into a product."
Scott Huffman, who leads engineering for the Assistant, told Bloomberg Thursday that one way the bot could announce itself would be saying something like "I'm the Google assistant and I'm calling for a client."
But while Google has floated some ideas around for how disclosures would be made, it still hasn't shared concrete plans on how exactly those things would be implemented.