Google Duplex

Demoed using Silicon Valley’s favourite first-world problem – booking a table at a restaurant in San Francisco – Google Duplex instead opens a can of worms. I agree with Ethan:

I think we’re well past the point where our industry gets a pass for launching products without thinking about their second-order effects.

A related anecdote. Having received far too many robocalls asking if I had been involved in a car accident recently, I took to making beeping noises down the phone to see how far I could progress through these annoying and false conversations. One day I almost – almost – started to do this before realising a real person was calling about a genuine issue. Had I made those funny noises, not only would I have been deeply embarrassed, it would have been pretty demeaning for the person on the other end of the line.

In a society where truth and trust are a scarce resource, this appears to be an incredibly foolish product to be bringing into the world. Talking of trust; I have zero faith Google will do the right thing with this technology, rhetoric about transparency or not.