Google’s Duplex is a service which provides an AI voice assistant that calls businesses to make reservations and appointments. Lots of skepticism has been thrown onto it after it’s on-stage demo appeared to have been entirely faked.
Now however an explanation make exist which demonstrates why it is working so well, or perhaps more pointedly, why it isn’t working.
An independent study recently taken has shown that Duplex utilizes humans to speak in 75% of the calls. With it’s back up against a wall, Google has confirmed it does use humans in their calls but insists the rate is 35%.
The study highlights the ongoing debate about AI and whether it is deserving of the hype and investment money it is receiving. It appears that one of the largest tech companies on Earth has produced a call-center for you to outsource your restaurant bookings over the phone under the guise of being a technology-driven, “Artificially Intelligent” solution.
Such scams are common the scene as the technology rarely works as it is sold to clients but businesses need to maintain a veneer of success, competence and most importance: technological edge over their competitors.
It is already starting to sound like the plot to a Silicon Valley episode. I imagine in my head some crazy scheme where the guys have to prove their tech works and instead of actually producing a viable implementation they just heavily-compress all of their client’s data using conventional (and slow) algorithms while keeping uncompressed copies available side by side. They can then show just how quickly they were able to encode and decode everything in milliseconds. Just hoping to fool investors long enough to keep the runway going for them to figure out a real implementation, or to just pivot away once again.