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View Poll Results: Do we really require a virtual assistant in India considering our existing "lazy quotient"
Yes, it would help local businesses and me; saves time! 61 46.21%
Nope, i prefer stepping out and exploring! 71 53.79%
Voters: 132. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10th May 2018, 15:05   #1
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Default Google’s AI-powered Voice Assistant

What freaked me out today morning was seeing an icon of the Google Assistant on my home screen! Neither did I download it, nor did I have automatic downloads or updates enabled. And what's more, the app would not uninstall! Quite freaky but am still curious to know how it happened! If there's anyone else who witnessed this, let me know!

Coming to the point, most of you by now would have seen this video:-


If not, please do! The video goes a long way in showing just how intelligent Machine/Deep learning and AI have made our devices (not yet but wait for the updates to come in).
On the surface, known just as Natural Language Processing (NLP) for texts to a few laymen like myself, I was excited at the thought of chatbots sprouting up everywhere. And terrified as well for the right reasons, specifically the drop in quality for customer-facing roles if configured poorly.
But things in this video make chatbots look insignificant.

Now, Google Assistant can understand the nuances of conversations, tones and also handle unexpected events with full grace (as is said in the video). I for once am excited at the prospects of this product from Google and the opportunities it would open up. But then again, since it requires most of the businesses you interact with to be looped into the network, it still has a long way to go to deliver that exceptional experience that it is designed for, for the user.

As with every new advancement in tech, the inevitable question is: Is it really worth? Are we not lazy enough already that we need an assistant to handle our saloon and doctor visits?
On the other hand, this thing can take care of booking anything for you: from movies to dinners, vacations to dates (i really want this, ).

Request the mods to merge this thread into an appropriate one that may exist, though I could not find any on my preliminary search on TBHP.

Last edited by abhi7013 : 10th May 2018 at 15:18.
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Old 10th May 2018, 15:20   #2
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As with every new advancement in tech, the inevitable question is: Is it really worth? Are we not lazy enough already that we need an assistant to handle our saloon and doctor visits?
I would look forward to the day Google assistant can handle some of these calls for me, not because I am lazy to make a call but I don't want to take the pain of talking over the phone to some random person. If my assistant can do it for me, I am happy. I'd probably sit and listen to this interesting conversation! Hope Google would let the actual user listen to the call while the assistant is making it.
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Old 10th May 2018, 15:29   #3
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I would look forward to the day Google assistant can handle some of these calls for me, not because I am lazy to make a call but I don't want to take the pain of talking over the phone to some random person. If my assistant can do it for me, I am happy. I'd probably sit and listen to this interesting conversation! Hope Google would let the actual user listen to the call while the assistant is making it.
Yup, just today, i received three calls from financial brokers! Wish there was a way to program the assistant with a few choice words and sit back and enjoy the conversation!
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Old 10th May 2018, 16:07   #4
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Default re: Google’s AI-powered Voice Assistant

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Yup, just today, i received three calls from financial brokers! Wish there was a way to program the assistant with a few choice words and sit back and enjoy the conversation!
Who's to say that the brokers will not use assistant for their outbound calling ? Imagine the amount of spam calls then !

I'd like a scenario where an assistant answers calls from unknown numbers and passes on a message to me only if it is relevant / important.

Otherwise let the callers, human or robots, deal with a robot.
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Old 10th May 2018, 18:45   #5
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When I first saw the video, I was in awe. This will be a killer if available across the board. Businesses will love it but employees will hate it.

With the assistant program already at such an advanced level, if implemented properly can take away tons of call center jobs. It should be able to answer majority of the standard queries. Replace 10 or 100 staff with 1 to answer the outliers. Receptionists /secretary level roles involving calling as main element should start looking for alternative careers. Only where physical presence really matters it may not get impacted

The world is evolving fast. Assistant calling Assistant
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Old 10th May 2018, 19:54   #6
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Similar to what happens in Dan Brown's Origins! One single application to handle real time conversations of multiple entities, coupled with access to buildings and control systems. Tony Stark's Jarvis!
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Old 10th May 2018, 21:08   #7
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Once I called my friend local in the USA, and like all homes there he had an answering machine. Unique was answering machine asking me to name the person I wish to speak to (filter), and it will announce the name of the person at that end to answer the call, if no one answer, then it will ask to record message. Idea for an app.
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Old 12th May 2018, 09:36   #8
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Cool re: Google’s AI-powered Voice Assistant

I got an invite for Beta testing of new Google assist. They have asked me to fill and digitally sign a confidentiality agreement form.

Google’s AI-powered Voice Assistant-gassist.jpg
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Old 12th May 2018, 09:44   #9
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Can we finally say Google Assistant has passed the Turing Test? I mean the hair salon person didn't know she spoke to a machine.

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I got an invite for Beta testing of new Google assist. They have asked me to fill and digitally sign a confidentiality agreement form.
I hope you posted this here before signing the confidentiality agreement.
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Old 12th May 2018, 10:10   #10
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But how can one explain the presence of the app in my phone? Another colleague of mine faced the same thing. The icon was sitting on his home screen! Does google have that level of control over one's device?
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Old 12th May 2018, 10:13   #11
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Can we finally say Google Assistant has passed the Turing Test? I mean the hair salon person didn't know she spoke to a machine.

I hope you posted this here before signing the confidentiality agreement.

I took a screenshot before signing the agreement and posted later on the forum. I am pretty sure google will track this post to my account if they want as I am using an Android phone.
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Old 12th May 2018, 12:58   #12
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But how can one explain the presence of the app in my phone? Another colleague of mine faced the same thing. The icon was sitting on his home screen! Does google have that level of control over one's device?
I had Google Assistant disabled on my phone a couple of months back because it was turning out to be a nuisance. Was shocked to find last night the Assistant app sat on my home screen. Like you, I tried to delete or uninstall, but it stays. I also have a feeling that my phone is listening in on me all the time, like a quiet recorder. There are so many instances when I'll be discussing something at home and the next time I open Google or Facebook, I see ads on the same topic I was discussing. This is creepy!

Also, not so cool of Google to shove an app without the owner's permission; goes on to show how low they can stoop to use your information. Pathetic Google.
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Old 14th May 2018, 11:40   #13
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Default Re: Google’s AI-powered Voice Assistant

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Originally Posted by abhi7013 View Post
What freaked me out today morning was seeing an icon of the Google Assistant on my home screen! Neither did I download it, nor did I have automatic downloads or updates enabled. And what's more, the app would not uninstall! Quite freaky but am still curious to know how it happened! If there's anyone else who witnessed this, let me know!
Such instances might only keep on increasing. A person like you or I can probably investigate and try to get rid of it. However, what about our parents, grandparents? They will inadvertently not bother too much about what data is going where.

There might be many uses of such an AI, but then we have to remember that its a self learning one and will keep on changing its thinking (thoughts, outputs?) to whatever is done by the majority, which may not be right. Case in point, one person gives an honest rating of 1/5 to a restaurant and 99 of the owners friends give a 5/5 rating. What do you think would be the rating of the place? Franky, there is no way to control the thoughts of the AI once its out. Further, one can also not interfere with its logic lest someone says that Google is modifying it to suit the company.

While the AI would no doubt be pretty useful for many businesses, personally I think such advances should be very strongly managed. The day won't be far when machines could take over. Yes, call it a bit far fetched, but day by day I see people relying on AI far too much (myself included).

I have recently starting using an Android phone and the amount of data that Google gathers is just phenomenal! I'm still getting used to it, but I'm soon going to disable most of the features except running WhatsApp and a couple of other apps. Case in point, in slow moving traffic, if I'm stopped at one place for a while, the phone will automatically prompt me give a review of the adjacent shop as it detects me to be present there.
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Old 14th May 2018, 12:23   #14
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Default Re: Google’s AI-powered Voice Assistant

I also saw the google assistant app downloaded without any input from my side. It was properly installed and when touched it opened google assistant. But later I enrolled for Android P beta, and the assistant app has disappeared since the update to P.
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Old 14th May 2018, 12:43   #15
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While the AI would no doubt be pretty useful for many businesses, personally I think such advances should be very strongly managed. The day won't be far when machines could take over. Yes, call it a bit far fetched, but day by day I see people relying on AI far too much (myself included).
When it comes to managing technology, you can easily understand where the government stands in its understanding of it by looking at Zuckerberg's testimony. Technology has progressed so fast that the people who should be responsible for managing the country are left clueless as to what is happening and what the implications are! I suspect it's already out of hands as you cannot just stop entities like FB and other platforms into tapping into your information as that is what is actually required to give you a good experience. Those not ok with this can always quit. But then again, your usage is tracked though you aren't a member!

Such things cannot be stopped overnight and neither can the likes of FB be stopped. (The current gen is so damn sensitive that de-activating FB would make them suicidal! Sad but true). Regarding being taken over, it is happening right now if you can just look around you. When it comes to waiting in line, at signals, in the elevators, restaurants or your appointments with the doctor, out comes the phone! Look at how many people have their heads bowed down oblivious to the surrounding!

Only difference from your notion of taking over and things happening now is, we have brought this on ourselves. Again mentioning the Origins novel here to highlight an impressive perspective of the author: There are a new species introduced in the animal kingdom which is different from its peers in every way and is slowly taking over the currently dominant one (us) and will soon replace it: Technology.

Last edited by abhi7013 : 14th May 2018 at 12:45.
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