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    I have my home in Google maps as Mama Luigi's Pizza House as a joke, and I was very proud of this joke when I heard Duplex was going to be on all Android phones. I'd often show groups of friends who haven't heard of Duplex just what it did, both on the customer and business side. After all, the impressive technology behind Duplex was the human sounding voice that businesses hear on the other end.

    "Make a reservation for 5 at Mama Luigi's Pizza House at 5 PM" I asked my Google Assistant. The group was impressed when it said that it would try between 4 and 6 for a reservation. A minute or two later I get a call, answering (jokingly) welcome to Mama Luigi's Pizza House. How can I help you?
    It gave me the standard intro, saying it's calling on behalf of (my name) and the call would be recorded.

    I tried throwing a wrench in, asking the same question over and over again

    "What time did you say?"
    "5 PM."
    "And what time was that?"
    "5 PM."

    My friends all laughed as I tormented the robot, feeling no remorse knowing that it couldn't feel annoyance.
    Suddenly, it asked
    "Are you gonna keep asking the same question or..?"

    "Uhh, no" I said. Was Duplex smarter than I thought? I'd done this routine several times before and it always dutifully answered what time I told it to.

    "Is this a human calling?"
    "Yes, this is for (name)"
    "No, am I speaking with a human right now?"
    "Yes, I am human."

    Well ****. Some poor ******* in a Google call center had been trying to politely answer the same question over and over again. And at that, some more poor bastards had to make calls to my fake restaurant each time I wanted to demonstrate Duplex. I hung up immediately, my friends suddenly all looking down, embarrassed. I was feeling confused, sad, and mostly angry for Google lying to me. The magic of it all was suddenly lost on me when I learned that the poor person on the other end of the call was, indeed, a person.

    Has anyone else had some sort of experience like this when interacting with Duplex? I'd really like to know. Until then, I think I'm gonna lay off showing people the "amazing realism" of Duplex's "AI generated" voice.
    04-05-2019 07:04 PM

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