John Gruber Wrong About the Duplex Demo

John Gruber of Daring Fireball took a big shot at Google Duplex recently.

He basically said that the way the demo was conducted should make us doubt the legitimacy of the tech.

I disagree.

I think the demos were spot on, and accurate.

The danger of doing a live demo is that you have so little time, and you might hit a snag.

  • The person might not answer

  • It might be a bad connection

  • It might be a scenario that the AI doesn’t pick up

  • Other things we’re not thinking of

If there is 5% chance that that would happen, and a 95% chance that it wouldn’t, they’re still taking a massive risk by doing the demo because they could destroy the product’s reputation in one shot when it actually is super useful even in its current state.

So unless they’re lying about being close, and about it being useful already, I think they did the right thing.

And we’ll know that anyway by how quickly it comes to the market.

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