Alphabet chairman: Google Duplex passes Turing test

The hero decryptor of the enigma machine, Alan Turing, had developed a test for artificial intelligence after he was done with his effort in World War II. In communicating with a human and a computer, another human would have to determine which party was which and evaluate characteristics of their text or their speech.

68 years after the Turing test was born, Alphabet boar chairman John Hennessy says that its subsidiary, Google, has created an AI-powered voice engine that passes the test: Duplex.

Duplex was introduced as one of Google Assistant’s new features at Google I/O this week. It allows for any of the Assistant’s six voices to make calls on behalf of individuals to businesses to make a reservation, noting dates, times and any limiting parameters imposed by the business such as party sizes or scheduling conflicts. Cadence, tone, verbal tics and other human accents to speech have been applied here.

“In the domain of making appointments, it passes the Turing test,” Hennessy said at an I/O meeting. “It doesn’t pass it in general terms, but it passes in that domain. And that’s really an indication of what’s coming.”

There’s actually so much concern about what’s coming — how this technology might be crafted by third-party developers in the future to trick or abuse others in scams and the like — that, according to CNET, Google is figuring out how to best work in disclosure when people are talking to its AI and how they can protect their data in the occurrence that they do so.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.