Category: Voice

Google Duplex arrives in Australia, Canada, and the UK

Google’s AI phone assistant Duplex is now available in Australia, Canada. Duplex was previously only available in the US and New Zealand. But VentureBeat spotted that a support page for the product now includes phone numbers for calls from Duplex in the three new countries. The system uses AI to mimic a human voice that calls businesses to make restaurant reservations, book appointments, and find out opening hours. Google first unveiled Duplex at the company’s annual I/O developer conference in May 2018. It quickly earned praise for helping companies that don’t have online booking systems, and for offering an alternative…

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Speech recognition technology is racist, study finds

New evidence of voice recognition’s racial bias problem has emerged. Speech recognition technologies developed by Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and IBM make almost twice as many errors when transcribing African American voices as they do with white American voices, according to a new Stanford study. All five systems produced these error rates even when the speakers were of the same gender and age, and saying the exact same words. We can’t know for sure if these technologies are used in virtual assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, as none of the companies disclose this information. If they are, the products…

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