May 23, 2018

Should a machine have to tell you if it’s a machine?

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This week Microsoft bought a company called Semantic Machines which works on something called "conversational AI" - that means computers that sound and respond like humans. Mostly it's for digital assistants like Microsoft's Cortana, Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa or Bixby…

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Should a machine have to tell you if it's a machine?

May 23, 2018
Can a robot make a dinner reservation? Google is working on it, but should they?
The Shadow Robot company's dextrous hand robot holds an Apple at the Streetwise Robots event held at the Science Museum's Dana Centre on May 6, 2008 in London, England. 
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

This week Microsoft bought a company called Semantic Machines which works on something called “conversational AI” – that means computers that sound and respond like humans. Mostly it’s for digital assistants like Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Bixby on Samsung. Last month Google showed off its own smart assistant called Duplex, which can call a hair salon to make an appointment on your behalf, or a restaurant to make a reservation. But it’s clear from what Google showed off that the people on the other end of these calls don’t know they’re talking to a computer — leading some to ask what the rights of the human on the other end of line are. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Jacob Metcalf of the Data & Society Research Institute about the business case for making computers sound so real. (05/23/2018)

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