The recent Google Duplex demo caused a firestorm of criticism online.
One of the things that I kept hearing was that it was an unethical deception for an AI system to present itself as a human caller.
I’ve given it some thought and I can’t figure out just what is immoral or unethical about this.
Some people have even argued that Google set out to deceive intentionally, but I fail to understand how that could be, insofar as the whole point of the system is to make the experience seamless for the callee, so that the callee’s experience of the interaction is as easy as if it were a human on the other end.
Also I don’t understand where the idea that the callee has some kind of moral right to know if they are interacting with a computer system instead of a person comes from. Can someone elucidate this? Why in this interaction does that right exist, compared with for example the right to know other facts about a caller if that caller were human?
Legally and morally, businesses have an obligation to serve customers without prejudice. For example it would be wrong to refuse a customer service because of their race or religion.
In terms of the interaction, I cannot think of a reason to frame as unethical the sophistication of the AI unless the knowledge of the non-human identity of the caller would cause the callee to behave differently upon that realization.
And then, for me, the question becomes what that difference in behavior entails. The only thing I can think of is simply to hang up on the caller, the desire to be able to refuse to interact with an AI.
Can someone explain to me the counter argument? Why is it unethical in this case that a business would not know that a caller is an AI and not a human?