Smart speakers getting too smart

Are we being fooled by Alexa and Siri as we can see them talking the talk, but are we believing they can walk the walk?

Siri and Alexa are starting to sound more and more convincing with the artificial intelligence and improved vocal tones.

Is this increase in capability starting to fool users? Well researchers say yes and the lines are starting to blur.

“The more human they sound, the more we expect of them”, Dr Leigh Clark of Swansea University.

The advances in technology can be a warning sign though, and we need to ensure safe boundaries are set so as ethical issues are not breached.

“Alexa, are you perpetuating bias?”

The rise of female voices in the AI smart assistant has also led to sexist remarks being made when the assistant provides what the user deems an incorrect answer.

Dr Clark says, however says this is just one of many issues which has surfaced in AI’s.

“There’s also a case for a lack of representation. Digital assistants often have educated English accents, and the lack of diversity can reinforce the impression that these voices represent authority and information,” he said.

“Google’s recent assistant, Google Duplex can ring up people on your behalf and book appointments and cinema tickets etc,” he added.

“Its voice is so advanced that it even adds ‘mm-hmm’ and ‘uh’ to mimic human speech patterns.”/i>

“Google have now added an alert to the start of these conversations to explain that they are a digital assistant, but as this technology continues to advance then there will be an increasing dilemma of how far it is ethical to make machines sound and behave like humans.”

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