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News of the Google AI assistant (or Google Duplex) being used to place phone calls to people in such a way that the human would not know they are speaking with AI was a little unsettling, and Google has announced they will address this by having the AI-driven, interactive robo-caller (for lack of a better word, if you know one please suggest it!) introduce "itself" as such.

My question addresses this or similar scenarios when one is confronted by human-like AI presenting cues that it is artificial, and yet including verbal affections that are specifically intended to sound human (e.g. 'um, okay...') rather than a machine.

The concept of the uncanny valley is usually applied to visual stimuli, but considering the degree to which AI and realistic human-like speech can be readily generated and transmitted, I'm wondering if the uncanny valley concept could apply or be extended to aural stimuli as well. Also curious if this avenue has ever been explored in published research.

One problem with my question might be in calling the uncanny valley a concept, rather than a phenomenon associated with visual stimuli by definition. If that's the proper way to think about it, perhaps I should be asking if there is an aural analog to the uncanny valley instead?

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    $\begingroup$ I don’t think it changes the question itself whether it’s an aural manifestation of the concept called the uncanny valley or if it’s the same experience with a different name. Then both the uncanny valley phenomenon and the un-named aural one would be two different manifestations of the larger thing you’re asking about. The discomfort with the too-nearly/not-enough human is pervasive isn’t it? An AI that stammered would be off-putting, because it’s obviously manipulative. An AI doesn’t require appearing or sounding human for any purpose intrinsic to its own intelligence. $\endgroup$ – Jeannie Jun 17 '18 at 18:14

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