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Google I/O 2018 | Google Duplex - Awesome or A Privacy Concern? | My Thoughts

Google I/O 2018

Google lens update

Like every year, Google I/O has been a platform for Google to showcase its latest advances in software and also show off some cool R&D projects that it does throughout the year. For a few years now, Google has been heavily focussing on Machine Learning and AI. And Google I/O 2018 was no exception.

Infact, Google I/O 2018 seemed to have been built around AI and Machine learning.
Since Google has lots of data (both public and personal) stored on its servers, it makes use of that data to continuously train its AI algorithms and data models to improve them.

Google announced many such product updates which use the improved AI and Machine learning of google.

Check out our Google I/O 2018 themed wallpapers

Read about the Google lens announcements at Google I/O 2018 
Read about the Google Maps updates announced at Google I/O 2018

One of the most amazing and awe-inspiring announcement was that of Google Duplex.

What is Google Duplex!

Imagine a situation where you need to call a service provider to get some reservation done or get some information.

We can definitely think of many such scenarios. For example, Making a dinner reservation, getting flight status etc.

Now, Imagine if your smartphone assistant could handle everything for you, WITHOUT YOU HAVING TO MAKE ANY CALLS OR SMS!

That's what Google Duplex aims to do.

Thanks to Google's year's of hard work in AI and machine learning, they have been successful in training their systems the nuances of natural language understanding and speaking.

Google Duplex
Source: Google I/O 2018

This has allowed them to make phone calls to people without them actually knowing that they are speaking to a computer.

Looks and feels really amazing when you think about it.

But I think there are some privacy concerns here as well.

Privacy Concerns

The major issue, I feel, is that the other person is not aware that he/she is speaking to a computer and not a real person.

A person can behave or talk in any way, which he feels he is sharing with the person at the other end. 

Keeping this fact, that he is talking to a computer, hidden from him is morally wrong.

Secondly, as Google always does, During such a call Google would definitely be recording and logging data from the call to further improve its software. 

It would then be like a call recording without the other person knowing it.

As easy as this technology would be for the user, it would be a severe privacy concern for the person at the other end.

If ever this gets hacked, it can also be misused. 

Imagine a hacker asking the assistant to call the bank to transfer money to his account. 

Since Google assistant already knows everything about us, it won't be difficult for the assistant to do it.

Thankfully, the technology is still a couple of years away from actual practical use.

Till then Both Google, as well as the World, have time to think about how to handle it and how to solve the issues & concerns.

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I am an ardent Techie and a Free Thinker. I love to explore new topics and technologies, and share my knowledge and views with the world.
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