A couple of years ago at the Techonomy conference, Ray Kurzweil—inventor, futurist, and director of engineering for Google—said that by 2029 computers will consistently understand human language. In fact, this day might arrive even sooner. The recent announcement of Google Duplex points to the rapidly growing ability of machines to understand language. Duplex is easily the most natural-sounding, computer-generated, and fully autonomous conversational bot yet developed. It heralds the day when conversational commerce is an everyday reality. It was a big enough deal that it both elicited privacy fears and charges that it had been faked. (A new conversational capability for Google’s devices was just announced in late June.) Read more…
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