Amazing and scary Google Assistant demo

It’s hard to know what to think of this, but it is an incredible tech demo. The potential is, however, somewhat disconcerting.

3 thoughts on “Amazing and scary Google Assistant demo

  1. Gives new meaning to the phrase “robo-call”.

    I think there needs to be some identifier to the human participant that they are talking to an AI, much along the line when you are being told you are being recorded “for training purposes”.

    This may put first level respondents at call centres (and others – like our receptionist at the hair salon) out of a job.

  2. A number of thoughts come to mind:

    What happens if you wanted a time or day that was not available. Does the AI simply choose an open time in your calendar? Maybe that won’t work. Does the AI check back with you before booking? And so on.

    I can see a great advantage if you’re being put on hold or you’re waiting for the next available agent. Because call volumes are (always!) higher than usual.

    Hopefully the AI can work through an automated answering system’s menus.

    And finally, what happens if your AI ends up talking to their AI. I mean the example they used for the hair appointment could have been handled by an AI at the salon.

  3. It’s interesting to ponder what flexibility the robo assistant has relative to a human.

    Also it’s strange – like in the USA, only very rich people would have an assistant handle this. Not sure if that’s the case where domestic labor is relatively cheap, like say India, and something that “middle class” folks can afford.

    But the thing is – and this applies to robot butlers as well… when we envisioned this stuff decades ago, we assumed more autonomy, I think. These things are so corporate-branded, with their brains on remote servers (literally head in the clouds, you could say?) that now we’re aware of how hungry companies are for info about us, it’s a bit troubling. You can’t serve two masters, but all this voice-powered assistant stuff (including Alexa and Siri) are gonna try.

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