Amazon is hoping to get into healthcare with Alexa, Huawei is releasing a new smartphone in Canada this week, and one expert thinks Google’s Duplex is deceptive and unethical.
First up from LinkedIn is news that Amazon has built a team within its Alexa division called “health & wellness,” according to CNBC reports. More than a dozen experts led by Amazon veteran Rachel Jiang are reportedly working on expanding the voice assistant’s use in the field of health care, focusing on diabetes management, support for new mothers and aging care. They want to make Alexa more useful in healthcare and are working through regulations and data privacy requirements laid out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in the US.
Next from Twitter, the Huawei P20 Lite is officially coming to Canada on May 17th this week. The new smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer will be available on two carriers, Rogers and Fido. The more expensive Huawei p20 and p20 pro will also be available on more carriers, including Rogers, Telus, Sasktel, Bell, and Virgin Mobile. No pricing information is available right now, but will likely be available soon. Huawei unveiled the phones in March and will sell both the black and pink gold P20s in Canada, while the P20 pro and lite will launch in just black.
And lastly from Reddit, you may have heard that Google unveiled its Duplex feature for Google Assistant that can make telephone calls on behalf of its human owner. The feature was launched at the company’s I/O conference last week and is designed to sound exactly like humans, even employing vocal cues like uhms and ahs to make the conversation experience more comfortable. But one expert is calling Google out for failing ethical and creative AI design. Dr Thomas King is a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Digital Ethics Lab discussed the Duplex demo with Tech Crunch and criticized the company for wanting the AI to be indistinguishable from humans. He calls the experience deceptive and doesn’t necessarily demonstrate a scientific value to sounding exactly like a human.