No Thanks, Google. I'll Speak for Myself.

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Giroro

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Jan 22, 2015
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It's all a conspiracy to pass the Turing test. At some point, Google must have realized that it's a lot easier to make a people speak like robots than it is to make robots speak like people.
 

sadsteve

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Mar 6, 2013
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"How can you plead your case to a bot or get a bot to do something outside of its script for you?"

Heh, you've obviously hadn't had to call your cable company tech support lately!! It seems the vast majority of the front line tech support is just following a script and if you're a special case you're hosed.
 
May 9, 2018
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If a bot makes a restaurant reservation for me, am I less likely to show up? The ease of the process makes for a lower degree of commitment. My wife makes her own birthday and greeting cards, which are highly personalized and loved by the recipients, not just because of the personalization and skill, but because all that effort says love. If we don't personalize our prose, the lack communicates a lack of caring.
 
Yesterday at its I/O conference, the search giant unveiled two creepy A.I. features: one that finishes your sentences in Gmail and another that literally makes phone calls for you, using a deceptively human voice. As a tech geek I'm impressed, but as a human who values communication, I'm bummed out.
And people wonder, people of Gen X/Y or earlier generations specifically, wonder why so many younger people have no interpersonal communication skills or language communication skills having grown up on "smart" technology to do their thinking for them (not all, but a disturbing number increase trend). Orwells' 1984 is here folks. Let's also not forget the other mind control central authority/bot population control movies that followed afterward: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dystopian_films
 


You get it. Most of my life and career has been about interpersonal communication and developing relationships with customers. If you remember a customer's family name and birthdays and send cards thanking them for your business, you'll get more of it. Guaranteed. Simple things, but too complicated for today's "smart phone convenience one touch solution" society cares about.

It means more in smaller cities, and less in the hustle and bustle of faster moving cities where no strangers even speak to each other sitting next to each other in a NYC bar stool diner. It's sad really. Humanity is in the middle of de-evolutionism. We did not get where we are as modern humans by being unsocial.
 
Someone at Google needs to spend a couple hours reading the Damn you autocorrect! website.

This also has implications for police investigations. Emails (at least those composed on gmail) can no longer be considered evidence of the author's intent. The author of an "incriminating" email can now claim they meant to type something different, but Smart Compose suggested something which they misread and thought was what they intended to type, but actually meant something completely different.
 

computerguy72

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Sep 22, 2011
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My mother lost her ability to speak and Duplex could potentially enrich her and her families lives in lots of positive ways. Millions of people who have various issues that prevent what most of us would consider a routine task could easily be helped dramatically by this. I told mom about this and she is sooo excited for the future.
 

geekinchief

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Sep 10, 2008
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I totally get the benefit of having a computer voice for people who have difficulty (or can't) speak. Stephen J. Hawking's life would have been far different without his computer voice.

But, in my mind, the question isn't: should a computer vocalize your thoughts, but rather, should it choose your words for you. That applies whether the words are delivered by audio or text.
 

Verrin

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Jan 11, 2009
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Time earns respect. By this, I mean, if you're giving up your time, it shows you care. People take notice. Did you write a quick email to thank someone? Or even worse, did you let Google write that gesture for you? Or did you get up, drive to the person's house, and thank them in person? Of these options, most people will agree, that the one that required the most effort gave the most impact.

It's important to keep this in mind if you ever intend to build meaningful relationship with others. People will take notice when you set aside time for them.
 

Daekar3

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Thank goodness somebody in the tech press gets it. All the other articles I've seen have been people gushing over the technical prowess of Duplex and the email autocomplete, and all I can see is a computer stepping in perform tasks that will cause people to lose the few social skills they have left and allow their writing skills (CRITICAL for self-expression!) to deteriorate even further than they collectively have. I would rather make a reservation online than use a bot that pretends to be human (even claiming the user's name).

Google did not learn the lesson from Jurassic Park. How long until we see memes about Google users collectively being unable to handle simple communication tasks?
 

Dosflores

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Jul 8, 2014
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There's another point that should be covered: Google Assistant does not only choose words for you, it can choose lots of other things for you. In the hair stylist demo, it asks for an appointment at noon. It is offered 1pm, then asks for something before noon, and finally it chooses 10am. I really don't want anyone (or anything) to decide if I prefer 10am or 1pm. I'm sure Google Assistant chooses based on what it knows about you. But, do you really want Google to know that much about you? Do you really want Google to choose for you? The smarter our devices (and the services they offer) get, the dumber we get. No thanks, Google. I'll think for myself.
 

alextheblue

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All I can imagine is two bots talking to each other on behalf of their users and next thing you know, you're getting married August 15th at 3:17PM... all of your family and friends bots have been informed and they're onboard. Location confirmed, plane tickets purchased, hotels rented. Dress and tux are on order... currently negotiating catering with several caterer's bots. The self-driving cars are ready to take you to the airport the day prior, whether you like it or not. The priest's bot has graciously cancelled a haircut appointment it had made (but not yet told him about) to squeeze you in.
 

Which might not be entirely bad, aside from the fact that weren't aware that you were actually even dating anyone, and had just asked your bot to schedule a service appointment with your ISP.
 
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