It's an interesting demo but it's still far easier to build a bot to handle a specific scripted scenario than just general conversation because the number of possible branches quickly goes off the rails. Anyone remember SoundHound's impressive Hound demo from a couple years back? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1ONXea0mXg Despite a lot of recent advancements in voice assistants my dialogues with them is still nothing close to as fluid as that demo from 2015. The Google voice AI in the demo essentially passes the Turing test but we'll see how it does in more real world unscripted scenarios. I might not be ready to give it a go as my personal assistant but I'd probably be ready to let it take my order at a drive through.
Martin Winlow
I'm a bit baffled by all the outcry. Humans are hardly the most infallibly trustworthy of creatures!
Okay, Luddites, here is your "get used to it" moment. AI development isn't going to stop; soon you will prefer to talk to one because it will understand you more easily than a human would. Also, we put odorants in natural gas so we could escape death! Lack of "umms" and "ahs" in speech is NOT going to be a parallel.
When making an appointment or reservation, there's a limited amount of data that needs to be conveyed (name, date, time...). The only thing that would make it difficult for this AI would be the human on the other end. Maybe those humans will soon be replaced with an AI too.
What a bunch of hooey. People also thought cars going over 30mph would be the end of the world.
Brian Smith
I expect if it is forced to first declare that it is a computer generated call many people would hang up on it before booking the appointment or reservation. Maybe declaring the intention first to book john a hair cut then saying I am johns virtual assistant would convince them to not immediately hand up and lose the business. Maybe if google can solve the robocalling problem for us we could all not have such a negative expectation of computer generated calls in the future.
So when will Google provide credited College Courses so we can eliminate human professors? Can you imagine an AI Professor that understands any language and gives you an unbiased and correct answers every time?
Rusty Harris
Is it time for "the three laws of Robotics" yet? ;)
I have received a number of calls from companies that use humans to do the voices, but the AI behind the responses is all computer. This has been going on for a couple of years now. They are subtle and it take a couple of interactions to discover that they are not real, but just AI. So how is this different from what Google Assistant was demonstrated in the keynote? Google just had better AI and respond-ability then their competition. So why are people not speaking out about that tech? Those are usually sales calls or requests for donations. Google is at least not selling, just taking my place. I'd rather have Google Assistant making my appointment than ask someone else to make the appointment for me. It'll probably get it more right, because it KNOWS my schedule. I think that the outcry is probably mostly from those who are afraid that Google will be ahead of them in the marketplace, or it will take the jobs of the "personal assistants". Google can't yet deliver a cup of coffee in the morning to the boss's desk, so I think the jobs are still secure. I bet Amazon is looking at that delivery, though. Where is the outcry against Amazon?
Oh please. The only thing I find disconcerting about this is the boring and inane way years of AI research is being used - to make appointments at hairdressers and restaurants. You really only need to be afraid if you are a PA or work in telemarketing!