Google’s use of AI to mimic humans is unethical and bad UX

Image Credit: YouTube

Google CEO Sundar Pichai took a giant leap in the wrong direction this week. At his company’s I/O developer conference, Pichai wowed the crowd by using a virtual assistant to fool people, making unsuspecting humans the target of laughter and raising serious ethical questions about future uses for AI.

Pichai played for the audience a conversation between Google Assistant and a hair salon assistant:

Hair salon: Hello, how can I help you?
Google Assistant: Hi, I’m calling to book a woman’s haircut for a client. Um, I’m looking for something on May 3rd.
Hair salon: Sure, give me one second.
Google Assistant: Mm-hmm.

The virtual assistant’s utterance of “Mm-hmm” generated peals of laughter from those eavesdropping on the equivalent of a prank call (1:56:36 of the video of the announcement). Listen to this poor sap of a hair salon receptionist! She’s completely falling for it! Let’s listen and see what happens next!

Hair salon: Sure, what time are you looking for around?
Google Assistant: At 12 p.m.
Hair salon: We do not have a 12 p.m. available. The closest we have to that is a 1:15.
Google Assistant: Do you have anything between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.?
Hair salon: Depending on what service she would like. What service is she looking for?
Google Assistant: Just a women’s haircut, for now.
Hair salon: OK, we have a 10 o’clock.
Google Assistant: 10 a.m. is fine
Hair salon: OK, what’s her first name?
Google Assistant: The first name is Lisa.
Hair salon: OK, perfect. So,I will see Lisa at 10 o’clock on May 3rd.
Google Assistant: OK, great, thanks.
Hair salon: Great. Have a great day. Bye.

The call’s conclusion generated more laughter and applause from the ranks of I/O attendees and the Google CEO. “That was a real call you just heard,” Pichai said as the chuckling continued. He explained that the call was powered by a new technology called Google Duplex. “It brings together all of our investments…

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Peter Bordes

Exec Chairman & Founder at oneQube
Exec Chairman & Founder of oneQube the leading audience development automation platfrom. Entrepreneur, top 100 most influential angel investors in social media who loves digital innovation, social media marketing. Adventure travel and fishing junkie.
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