Wednesday July 11, 2018

Google Demos A.I. Duplex Features From Google Assistant App

Google recently gave members of the press a demonstration of the capabilities of the A.I. embedded in the Google Assistant app. The A.I. feature called Duplex is capable of calling restaurants and hair salons to make reservations. It speaks in a more human manner by adding um and ah sounds in the speech patterns used. Google engineers found that people were less likely to hang up on the A.I. if it spoke in this manner. It is still a work in progress as it tries to not deviate from the script, and thus questions about child booster seats trip it up for example. I can't wait to try this feature myself as it sounds very cool.

While the demo was mostly positive, there are still several hurdles to overcome before your local taqueria gets inundated with AI reservation requests. These include practical concerns, like privacy laws and phone answerers who prefer human interaction (businesses that simply don’t want to accept calls from Google’s AI will be able to opt out). And Google can’t just roll out Duplex anywhere it wants. The company will need a permit before it can operate in Texas, for example.

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