Tech Tips: How tech is becoming more human - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Tech Tips: How tech is becoming more human

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Tech has increasingly marched towards blurring the line between if you're communicating with a human or a machine. So this week we'll take a look at some of the ways that tech is appearing more human to humans.

Google recently created an AI-powered messaging tool.  Google Reply does as the name implies, and it provides you options to reply to your messages. This may not seem noteworthy, but we're talking about Google, so there's always more to the story. Google Reply works with Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messenger, your native texting feature as well as WhatsApp and Slack. 

What sets Google Reply apart from other similar features in messaging apps is that it's replies aren't canned retorts. It learns how you reply based on previous communications and offer reply suggestions based on not only previous conversations with individuals but also your location. In most cases, your recipient will not realize the Google Reply is responding to them and not you. The more that it learns the more that it can do for you.

Where Google Reply constructed replies in your tone of speaking, "Lyrebird" is a software that can literally clone your voice. This program has the ability to clone a person's voice and give listeners the impression that what they are hearing is the actual person. The creators of Lyrebird state that they want to raise awareness in the general public that this type of technology exists. With that said, the practical uses for this seems to be narrow in scope.

Researchers at the University of Washington have taken perception manipulation to the next level  by creating a photorealistic synthesizing process using a recurrent neural network. That is a more complex way of saying that they have created a method to produce high quality video of a person saying things that they did not say. So technology seems to be validating that you should believe half that you hear and none of what you see.

Finally, an app named "Replika" is seeking to become a friend to those in need of a friend. The app is a chatbot that learns about you through your conversations and through social media. It can follow you on Facebook and Instagram. Replika seems to work hard to become your best friend.

Feel free to email me your questions at quinceyresponds@yahoo.com. 

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