Google raised a lot of questions when it unveiled "Google Duplex" at its developers conference in early May. Duplex, as Google demonstrated in the video above, was a scary-smart virtual assistant capable of calling a restaurant to book a reservation.
A caller simply had to ask Google Assistant — the company's version of Siri — to book a reservation. Then, Google's computers called the restaurant and did the rest of the work.
The voice of Google's artificial intelligence sounded eerily human, even inserting sporadic "um"s and other mannerisms, and seemed to work perfectly — so much so, that media outlets such as Axios were skeptical that the demo was even real.
So Google invited a group of reporters to a restaurant in New York City earlier this week to try Duplex for ourselves ahead of its limited launch. I also had a chance to talk to engineers on the project about ethics concerns surrounding the technology. Here's what I learned.