Google revealed at its annual I/O developer conference this week that it's bringing its Android Things IoT operating system (OS) out of the beta testing phase, allowing all developers to use it for the first time, Engadget reports. On the home button, swiping sideways will enable to scroll through all the apps you have open. The demo - which showed a voice assistant call a hair saloon and book an appointment on behalf of a customer - was nothing short of fantastic, and it just goes to show how far ahead Google is in terms of voice-based AI assistants and conversational, natural language processing. But Google Duplex doesn't come without privacy concerns. Thanks to WaveNet, an AI-based generative program that's part of Google's DeepMind division, Duplex can sound a lot closer to a human than ever before, complete with "umms" and "aahs", as seen in the video above. When you do so, the Assistant will be able to place a call to the restaurant, salon etc. and have a conversation with a real person to set appointments for you.
Google had originally said in a blog post written by engineers Yaniv Leviathan and Yossi Matias that "it's important to us that users and businesses have a good experience with this service and transparency is a key part of that". Most of these are based on the company's use of artificial intelligence, and from the Google Assistant to Gmail, everything is getting a AI kick. This will even let us concatenate commands together, making AI assistant sound feel more natural. If the booking is successfully done, you then get a notification and a calendar entry, where you can check if the appointment was made correctly. Currently, aside from using different Google accounts for each piece of hardware, there is no way to change the voice for specific devices.
Voice 7 - (Female) - A very low-toned voice. Google makes it very clear in a blog post that it can not carry out general conversations.
Duplex is meant to promote "Time Well Spent", a nonprofit by former Googler Tristan Harris that focuses on ethical design of products rather than just selling advertising. Google did say it's a work in progress though, so it'll be a while before it comes to market.
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Google even introduced a new feature called "Pretty Please". See the Walmart site for more information.
The rub, per usual with the Googleplex, is when can we reasonably expect to see this new marvel of A.I. technology.
Disclosure: Google sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the trip to Google I/O.