Google Starts Rolling Out Duplex Service For Select Pixel Devices
Earlier this year, Google demonstrated various abilities of the Google Assistant at its developer conference. One of these, was the Duplex service. The Duplex service consists of an AI bot which calls up restaurants and salons, to book you appointments and make reservations for you. Although the idea seemed a bit far fetched at the point, the demo by Google really put everyone’s doubts to rest. And now, the service is rolling out to select Pixel devices in the US.
The Duplex service by Google was created in order to bridge the gap between those services which are listed online and those which are not. Google stated that more than 60 percent of businesses do not have an online booking service, which would mean that Google Assistant cannot make those appointments for you. Instead, Duplex will set up an appointment by actually calling up the service.
The demo demonstrated by Google was both awesome and scary at the same time. With Duplex perfectly interacting with the human on the other end of the line and successfully booking an appointment, it seems like something out of a sci-fi movie. Not only does this tell us about the immense capabilities that AI has, but it also demonstrates as to how far technology can reach into our lives.
However, the service is not as easy to use as it sounds. First, you need to ask your Google Assistant to make a reservation for you at a specific restaurant. If you do not have a specific place in mind, you need to narrow it down by talking about the locality or cuisine you would like. It will then confirm a few more details such as the number of people, date and time and then go ahead to make the call. It will then continue to make the booking which you can view or cancel from the ‘My Reservations’ screen.
The AI Future
While this does sound ideal, and Google’s demo was also a bit dreamy, a video by VentureBeat shows that it is far more tedious. The service takes a good amount of time to gather information from you and you might as well make the call yourself in that much time.
It will be interesting to see how many people actually find this useful and whether it picks up in terms of popularity. Another AI based service from Google, that of ‘call screening’ seems to be more practical than this. Call Screening lets you chose an option for the phone to ‘talk’ to someone who is calling you and presents that information on your screen. This will let you know who is calling in busy situations or help you avoid telemarketers.