Google has released new customer service artificial intelligence software that could revolutionize customer care. The days of pressing one for yes and two for no are going to be in the past soon. The interesting thing about it is that the voice is almost completely human sounding, just as another of Google’s AI releases. This time, though, Google insists that this new AI will “not steal jobs”.
The AI Controversy
There has been a mixed bag of controversy and praise for the field of artificial intelligence. While many people believe that AI has yet to be developed, that is not true. AI is fully engaged at this point. It may not be as advanced as it will be but it is definitely available and used.
Part of the controversy involves a concern that AI will take away jobs. This is a reasonable concern considering how many machines have indeed taken over jobs and put many people out of work. Another and less reasonable controversy is that AI will be able to learn so well that it will become a malignant entity. Security protocols would stop any such thing.
At the Google Cloud Next 18 Conference recently, Google’s lead AI developer, Dr. Fei Fei Li announced the Google Contact Center AI. The idea is this will be the next stage of automated customer-service voice systems. Naturally, this type of software would be used all over the world in countless different industries.
Li demonstrated a system that understands natural language quite well. It also responds to various questions with answers that are realistic and pertinent. When it is heard, a conversation between a human and they system sounds exactly like one is speaking to a live customer-service representative.
Google had also recently demonstrated another AI called Duplex, a restaurant-booking system. This shocked many people in the IT industry as well as much of the press since such a thing would clearly take away jobs from people. The new customer service system is intended to be just that and only like other automated systems, just better.
Regardless of the assurances from Google, AI is still a very controversial subject. It hits close to home and people are concerned about AI not only replacing jobs but also being used as a weapon. As much as possible, people want to avoid this and it is totally understandable. It seems right now that we are not so far off from a computer-ruled society which is not at all wanted.
Google is a responsive company, however, and it listens to employees and shareholders. Dr. Li herself may be the lead AI researcher for Google but she fully understands the sensitivity of the subject. It is not at all Google’s intention to create anything malicious.
In fact, employees signed a petition recently in response to Google working with the military. The petition insists that the AI not be used for weapons. Google agreed. Still, there is much on the side of public relations to make the AI projects totally free of controversy.