Google has announced Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone.
The announcement took place at Google’s I/O developer conference. In the demo, Google Assistant goes back and forth in conversation with a person for about a minute to make a haircut reservation. In another demonstration, Google Assistant made a reservation at a restaurant.
Many businesses rely on voice conversations and in the US 60% of small businesses don’t have an online booking system – meaning customers must pick up the phone to make an appointment.
Google Duplex is an AI assistant that can mimic real-life conversations to make bookings for you. The groundbreaking technology aims to make the conversations sound as natural as possible in order to make the experience comfortable. But Google say they are working to be as transparent as possible “We want to be clear about the intent of the call so businesses understand the context. We’ll be experimenting with the right approach over the coming months.”
“Allowing people to interact with technology as naturally as they interact with each other has been a long-standing promise. Google Duplex takes a step in this direction, making interaction with technology via natural conversation a reality in specific scenarios. We hope that these technology advances will ultimately contribute to a meaningful improvement in people’s experience in day-to-day interactions with computers.”
The day when Duplex actually works could be years down the road, but this is the beginning of automated AI reaching out into the world to work on behalf of consumers and businesses.