Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"

Fed up talking videogames? Why?

Which assistants/speakers do you use?

Google Assistant (Google Home, Sony, Panasonic, Lenovo, Sonos)
11
41%
Alexa (Amazon Echo)
12
44%
Siri (Apple Homepod)
4
15%
Cortana (Microsoft)
0
No votes
Bixby (Samsung)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 27
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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Green Gecko » Thu May 03, 2018 1:54 pm

I mostly mean tone of voice etc ;)

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by NickSCFC » Wed May 09, 2018 8:48 am

This is impressive, especially the Chinese restaurant call :lol:

https://ai.googleblog.com/2018/05/duple ... n.html?m=1


Last edited by NickSCFC on Wed May 09, 2018 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Green Gecko » Wed May 09, 2018 9:23 am

I fully recognise all the concerns with this but it will help people with anxiety and autism for example or anyone who finds simple (but easily overcomplicated) telephone interactions difficult.

On the other hand it might not be a great idea for people normally capable of these interactions to never do it as that will over time reduce social skills even if it saves time. A lot of people don't like using the phone but don't actually have an impairment that makes that difficult, they just lost or never developed those skills for whatever reason. Because voice is more efficient than text in some circumstances, that doesn't mean we should have AI do all of it.

For example even though I have these difficulties I still put through an order to a supplier and paid for it over the phone yesterday because I knew I would get it the next day and it was faster than issuing a purchase order over email, confirming that, receiving invoice and paying by bank transfer. Even though I still create the purchase order and just read it out. I doubt AI assistant would be able to handle such complex interactions in the future (I will get a virtual (real internet person) assistant for that) but you can see why this technology is useful for mundane stuff.

Especially filling a knowledge base of telephone based businesses on Google ,that's just good user information and less work for traditional businesses that are old or stupid enough not to use the internet.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by NickSCFC » Wed May 09, 2018 10:11 am

Conversely, this would replace call centre staff, or at least the tedious process of going through options, I had to go through 4 of these to get through to EE last week.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Green Gecko » Wed May 09, 2018 1:32 pm

They do suck on the receiving end, the worst is the awkward pause while an AI processes a response to a spam call and then starts talking about your accident claim blablah, so now they're not even trying.

Like anything good when they work terrible the rest of the time, the thing is human intelligence can overcome most obstacles but when you are stuck with a thick ai and no direct input you're strawberry floated.

Or just spam 9 to get through to an operator (which I did trying to get through to EDF I think).

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Cheeky Devlin » Wed May 09, 2018 1:44 pm

Green Gecko wrote:They do suck on the receiving end, the worst is the awkward pause while an AI processes a response to a spam call and then starts talking about your accident claim blablah, so now they're not even trying.

Like anything good when they work terrible the rest of the time, the thing is human intelligence can overcome most obstacles but when you are stuck with a thick ai and no direct input you're strawberry floated.

Or just spam 9 to get through to an operator (which I did trying to get through to EDF I think).

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by Bleachyleachy » Wed May 09, 2018 2:13 pm

I stumbled across an explanation of how Alexa cannot listen to your every word on Reddit. For those interested:

Can't comment on Google devices, but I have several friends who work for the Alexa division at Amazon, and much of the workings of the Alexa/Echo devices are public knowledge if you are a skills developer or connected home, etc. tech partner so I'm not really revealing any major secrets here.

The Echo units have two main "modes." The first is a small firmware chip wired to the microphone that only contains about 50-60k of onboard memory. Its only purpose is to listen to the wake word, "Alexa," "Echo," etc. It doesn't do any actual language processing for this, but only listens for distinct combinations of syllables. This is why they can't be programmed to respond to arbitrary words.

Once the firmware chip hears the wake word, it powers up the main ARM chip, which runs a stripped down version of Linux. This startup process takes just under a second, during which time the firmware chip has barely enough memory to buffer what you're saying if you immediately start talking after the wake word without pausing. Once the ARM chip is on, the blue ring on the top illuminates and recording begins. The firmware chip dumps its buffer to the start of the recording and then serves as a pass-through for the mic. Only this main ARM chip and OS has access to the networking interface, in or out.

The purpose of this next stage is to wait until it's heard what sounds like a real natural sentence or question. Amazon is not interested in background noise -- that would be a waste of bandwidth and resources. So there is a rudimentary natural language processing step done locally to determine when you've said a real sentence and stopped speaking. It also handles very simple "local" commands that don't need server processing, like "Alexa stop." Only at that point is the full sentence sent up to the actual AWS servers for processing.

It is physically impossible for the device to be secretly constantly listening, as the mic, networking, main wake chip, blue LED ring, and main ARM chip just aren't wired that way from a power perspective. If you are curious to confirm any of the above, try disconnecting your home internet and playing around with the Alexa a bit, and you'll see that it only even realizes something is wrong at that very last step, when it goes to upload the processed sentence to the servers.

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by lex-man » Wed May 09, 2018 2:22 pm

Bleachyleachy wrote:I stumbled across an explanation of how Alexa cannot listen to your every word on Reddit. For those interested:

Can't comment on Google devices, but I have several friends who work for the Alexa division at Amazon, and much of the workings of the Alexa/Echo devices are public knowledge if you are a skills developer or connected home, etc. tech partner so I'm not really revealing any major secrets here.

The Echo units have two main "modes." The first is a small firmware chip wired to the microphone that only contains about 50-60k of onboard memory. Its only purpose is to listen to the wake word, "Alexa," "Echo," etc. It doesn't do any actual language processing for this, but only listens for distinct combinations of syllables. This is why they can't be programmed to respond to arbitrary words.

Once the firmware chip hears the wake word, it powers up the main ARM chip, which runs a stripped down version of Linux. This startup process takes just under a second, during which time the firmware chip has barely enough memory to buffer what you're saying if you immediately start talking after the wake word without pausing. Once the ARM chip is on, the blue ring on the top illuminates and recording begins. The firmware chip dumps its buffer to the start of the recording and then serves as a pass-through for the mic. Only this main ARM chip and OS has access to the networking interface, in or out.

The purpose of this next stage is to wait until it's heard what sounds like a real natural sentence or question. Amazon is not interested in background noise -- that would be a waste of bandwidth and resources. So there is a rudimentary natural language processing step done locally to determine when you've said a real sentence and stopped speaking. It also handles very simple "local" commands that don't need server processing, like "Alexa stop." Only at that point is the full sentence sent up to the actual AWS servers for processing.

It is physically impossible for the device to be secretly constantly listening, as the mic, networking, main wake chip, blue LED ring, and main ARM chip just aren't wired that way from a power perspective. If you are curious to confirm any of the above, try disconnecting your home internet and playing around with the Alexa a bit, and you'll see that it only even realizes something is wrong at that very last step, when it goes to upload the processed sentence to the servers.


That may be true at the moment but:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-styl ... 00246.html

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PostRe: Smart Assistants & Smart Speakers
by bear » Wed May 09, 2018 5:51 pm

That Assistant video is cool but it does raise some serious privacy issues. If I contact a telephone support line where the phonecall is possibly going to be recorded then I am made aware of that straightaway. There's nothing in that video that indicates that the person at the other end of the line knows that their conversation is being analysed by Google or what Google may do with information discovered through that phonecall.

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by Green Gecko » Wed May 09, 2018 10:22 pm

I think that only applies to business which don't really have privacy rights as it's an employee not a private individual at that moment. In that situation it's the company not a person. But it might apply to sole traders who are legally private individuals. I'm sure Google would have to set up some kind of consent for that through Google My Business (which is how business currently manage their Google presence).

Cheeky :lol:

Google home was updated to make free calls to landlines, mobiles and business registered on Google and people in your contacts list. Happened a while ago but I didn't know. I called up one of my clients handsfree from my desk without even having their number (I just said call such as such business in my area) and it went through fine, let them know I'm on my my way and asked a few questions, no idea what the quality was like but they didn't seem to have any problems hearing me. Think I'll make good use of that as I don't always make a note of or even know a business phone number if for example they have been in touch by email. It's liberating being able to do that off the cuff before getting distracted by something else or having to, well, fiddle around with anything. You could do the same thing with a conferencing phone but it's not voice activated and certainly can't find phone numbers for you. It does become a bit of a drag googling them when creating an account on system for them as half the time businesses don't actually give your their details or you forget to ask for them or they change or are wrong. This saves you from having to keep a regular phonebook of local businesses, for whatever manner you interact with them. Or even just mentally copying and typing the number wrong into a phone (not everyone uses one smartphone or wants to have their contacts filled with work related stuff or a company they use once in a blue moon ).

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by BID0 » Thu May 10, 2018 3:59 pm



siri unlock my doors

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by bear » Fri May 11, 2018 12:58 pm

https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/10/17342414/google-duplex-ai-assistant-voice-calling-identify-itself-update

Following widespread outcry over the ethical dilemmas raised by Google’s new Duplex system, which lets artificial intelligence mimic a human voice to make appointments, Google has clarified in a statement that the experimental system will have “disclosure built-in.” That seems to mean that whatever eventual shape Duplex takes as a consumer product will involve some type of verbal announcement to the person on the other end that he or she is in fact talking to an AI.


The fact they didn't seem to realise this might be an issue until some members of the press pointed out the potential ethical issues is a bit of a worry. Companies the size of Google should always be asking themselves "Should we" instead of simply "Can we".
The amount of press that simply reported on how impressive the technology was is a worry as well.

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by Garth » Fri May 11, 2018 1:24 pm

Yeah, I was wondering if they'd have to make people aware they're talking to an AI.

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by NickSCFC » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:28 pm

Looks like that phone assistant has launched in the US


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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by Return_of_the_STAR » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:38 pm

NickSCFC wrote:Looks like that phone assistant has launched in the US



strawberry floating hell im scared. The world is gonna end, they are taking over. James Cameron made two documentaries warning of this and we ignored him.

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by 1cmanny1 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:48 am

That has the potential to be cool, but only will work for non complex tasks.
However apart from the occasional small restaurant, most other things have online options to book non complex tasks.

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by Errkal » Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:52 am

I can see every place that gets a robo call just hanging up in it.

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by Grumpy David » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:04 pm

1cmanny1 wrote:That has the potential to be cool, but only will work for non complex tasks.
However apart from the occasional small restaurant, most other things have online options to book non complex tasks.


Have you seen it ring the Chinese restaurant? :lol:

Despite the stereotype of thick accent and "Engrish" and misunderstanding.

Google AI still knew how to react.

Very cool technology.

I for one, welcome our Skynet overlords.

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by Mafro » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:10 pm

Errkal wrote:I can see every place that gets a robo call just hanging up in it.

Why do you say that? It's probably easier dealing with this than an actual person :lol:

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PostRe: Smart Assistant & Smart Speaker thread - "Google Assistant just beat the Turing test"
by Errkal » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:13 pm

Mafro wrote:
Errkal wrote:I can see every place that gets a robo call just hanging up in it.

Why do you say that? It's probably easier dealing with this than an actual person.

I just imagine most people would answer here a computer ish voice and go 'nope spam' rather than listen to what it is saying.

I quite like the idea behind it though so hopefully I am wrong


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