Google does demo plenty of stuff at I/O that isn't available Today. In fact that might be almost everything shown at I/O.
But utter fraud , as he suggests here? Is there any precedent for Google doing such a thing on this scale? That seems absurd and, in a company of this size and openness, likely to backfire.
Maybe Gruber doesn't believe anything he wrote and is actually trying to get Googlers to email him in defense of the tech and reveal confidential details of how it works. I don't have any reason to believe this, just asking the question...
 I mean, the article is written such that the author could backtrack are any point and say "that's not what I meant, I was just asking the question". But hopefully we can get beyond that facade.
I usually like what Gruber has to say about Apple, but this fanboyism is off the charts even for him.
Once you've noticed this pattern it's much harder to take his (often very good) long form pieces seriously.
Gruber/Apple is never wrong - but sometimes reality realigns.
And yes, Google certainly wouldn't demo a completely non-existent technology, and I'm sure Gruber knows that. But they might very well demo a technology that only works 60% of the time at present. Let's be honest, this wouldn't be the first time we've seen a large tech company demo incredible-seeming too-good-to-be-true tech that turned out to actually be too good to be true and never made it into real world use for one reason or another.
It is kind of weird that the broad tech punditry has just accepted Google's demo at face value with respect to what the tech is actually capable of at present.
For example, Google demoed object removal in Google Photos (https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/17/15654476/google-photos-ob...) last year at IO, and as far as I can tell it never shipped.
If a company in any other industry announced an insane-seeming new technology with a completely non-verifiable demo like this, no credible journalist who covers that beat would report it as credulously as tech journalists have covered the Duplex demo. Gruber is absolutely right that the lack of skepticism around Duplex is baffling and journalistically suspect.
So, what does it do and how well does it perform? The demo does not really tell. We had such dialogs in research literature 30 years ago, but they were carefully crafted and very domain specific ('ordering a hotel room' via natural language for example).
> One of the key research insights was to constrain Duplex to closed domains, which are narrow enough to explore extensively. Duplex can only carry out natural conversations after being deeply trained in such domains. It cannot carry out general conversations.
Just a thought, imagine how this article would be if the companies were reversed. Would it be the same?
And that's how you recognize objectivity...
Beyond just recording you'd have to get publicity permission to broadcast such a call to the world as marketing for your products.
If they got all this lined up in advance, they'd be accused of rigging the demo anyway, so what's the point of taking the risk and gaining little. The alternative would have been using a Google employee to play the part of the business, but this too would have subjected them to accusations of rigging.
It's not like people are going to forget about the demo if it never materializes. Google has a lot more to lose than gain from faking something this high profile.
I can't think of a good explanation for him wording his misgivings with such uncharitable language. I never had the feeling that he hated or resented Google quite this much.
Apart from - "We'd like to call you next wednesday to demo some phone technology - it'll just be a normal booking call, but it will be recorded and go out live on stage. Is that OK?'
Of course it could also have been staged but more difficult. By picking a successful recorded try you tend to obfuscate failure rate.
As opposite Apple often demonstrate feature on stage with real call to outside people or live Siri command. And as with real tech it sometimes fail. They always have a backup hardware and they sometimes use it if the first try is a fail.
I do however "believe" Google in a way that all their demos that I remember turned out as real products working in real time, and in many cases, serving 1B+ users daily.
I would expect Google to work in a similar way.
Speaking of which, 'dang et al., would it be hard to add a full ISO 8601 timestamp as a "title" attribute to the date permalink? I get that "1 day ago" is more readable, but there are cases I'd love to know the actual date and time something was posted.
The cutoff seems to be more than a few months, though.
I assume it was just fear of demo gremlins that made them use a recording. Also, you could argue it is unethical to broadcast a phonecall with someone live, and ruins the fun if you get permission in advance.
I assume they did it, then got permission afterwards, and Google being Google, it didn't occur to them that people might want to talk to the callee.
You can say Gruber is wrong and argue about it. But flagging??? This is totally bullshit.