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Monday, June 4, 2018

Human-sounding Google Assistant sparks ethics questions

The Strait Times
Originally published May 9, 2018

Here are some excerpts:

The new Google digital assistant converses so naturally it may seem like a real person.

The unveiling of the natural-sounding robo-assistant by the tech giant this week wowed some observers, but left others fretting over the ethics of how the human-seeming software might be used.

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The Duplex demonstration was quickly followed by debate over whether people answering phones should be told when they are speaking to human-sounding software and how the technology might be abused in the form of more convincing "robocalls" by marketers or political campaigns.

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Digital assistants making arrangements for people also raises the question of who is responsible for mistakes, such as a no-show or cancellation fee for an appointment set for the wrong time.

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