DeepMind is Huge for Google Stock
A recent invention by Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) artificial intelligence (AI) team, DeepMind Technologies Limited, threatens to disrupt the entire service industry while also scoring big wins for Google stock.
The AI team created text-to-voice software called “WaveNet.” Sounds pretty standard, doesn’t it? After all, programmers have been working on synthetic voice programs since the dawn of computers. But this one is different. (Source: “WaveNet: A Generative Model for Raw Audio,” DeepMind blog, September 8, 2016.)
Alphabet Inc, also known as Google, is using AI techniques to make the program learn to speak in a natural rhythm.
“Allowing people to converse with machines is a long-standing dream of human-computer interaction,” the company said in a blog post. “WaveNets are able to generate speech which mimics any human voice and which sounds more natural than the best existing Text-to-Speech systems, reducing the gap with human performance by over 50%.”
The ability for a machine to convincingly sound human is game changing, especially in light of other AI breakthroughs. For instance, companies like Google, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have already taught machines to listen. The technology is advanced enough to take in questions or commands, and then respond.
Think about it: when you use “Siri” on an “iPhone,” you are really just talking to a machine. You can ask, “Siri, how is the weather?” and she/it would respond with the current temperature. But you can still tell it isn’t human. Google is on its way to breaking that barrier.
Software that enables AI bots to genuinely speak would revolutionize the service industry. For instance, many companies are working on AI bots that provide customer service in messaging apps. The idea is that an artificially intelligent program would respond to customer queries on “Facebook Messenger” or “WhatsApp.” Many analysts consider this concept to be a threat to regular service-sector jobs, namely those in customer service. Now imagine if the same thing becomes possible over the phone.
Customers would phone customer service, and a Google-enabled AI bot would answer. If it sounds indistinguishable from a human employee, companies would likely downsize. The potential layoffs could be staggering, but at least the license fees would be good news for Google stock.
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