Google released demonstrations of new bots that imitate human speech only a couple of weeks ago, and already the technology is facing a legal challenge, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Google’s audio recordings of the company’s new artificial intelligence system – which can schedule a hair appointment or call a restaurant – were described by listeners as “unsettling and astounding.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation noted the system was set up to allow a Google personal assistant to make telephone calls and conduct “natural conversations.”
Google even added “ah” and “um” sounds so that listeners would think it was a human calling.
And while Google says it plans to label its systems so that people know they are talking to a computer, California has proposed a bill to make such disclosure a requirement.
EFF, however, is concerned that the bill is broad and could curb free speech.
The bill, the B.O.T. Act of 2018, would make it unlawful for any person to use a social bot to communicate or interact with natural persons online without disclosing that the bot is not a natural person.
“There are many other types of social bots, and this bill targets all of them,” EFF said.
“By targeting all bots instead of the specific type of bots driving the legislation, this bill would restrict and chill the use of bots for protected speech activities,” the privacy group said.
EFF said it has urged the bill’s sponsor to withdraw the proposal “until this fundamental constitutional deficiency is addressed.”