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Phone conversations with robots?

Google has trained helpful software to talk on the phone. The Google Assistant makes sounds like ‘m-hmm’ and pauses to make it seem more human.

Vintage black and white photograph of a metal robot, slipping a white shoe on to the foot of a blonde model
Image credit: Flickr/Rick McCharles

In a move that feels both creepy and exciting, Google has programmed its smartphone-based Assistant to make phone calls on its own.

At a recent demonstration the Google Assistant made calls to book a hair appointment and a reservation at a restaurant, talking with a human to make the bookings.

I don’t think I’m comfortable talking to someone over the phone and not knowing if they’re an artificial intelligence.

Discussion Topics

Imagine finding out the ‘person’ you were chatting to was actually an AI. How would you feel?

If two AI’s talked to each other what might they say? What language might they use?