Google’s human-sounding Duplex AI will soon be unleashed in the US

By Adamya Sharma | Published on 28 Jun 2018
HIGHLIGHTS

Google’s human-sounding AI will start making calls to enquire about holiday hours, book appointments and make reservations in the coming weeks. However, the calls will be tested on a limited group of testers and only in the US.

Google’s human-sounding Duplex AI will soon be unleashed in the US

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At Google I/O 2018, the company shocked the world with a controversial phone call made by an AI that sounds eerily similar to a human being. Called Google Duplex, the technology makes Google’s voice assistant converse with a human, with the right amount of pauses and filler words, which makes it sound just like a real person.

While all kinds of alarm bells went off on the internet about how Google Duplex calls could dupe people into thinking they were talking to a real person, we were the only ones who told you back then that Google would make the Assistant introduce itself as an AI and that this introduction will also take a more natural sounding approach rather than a robotic one.

Now that Google has given a set of select journalists a taste of Google Duplex in the US, it is confirmed that the Assistant does actually introduce itself and also alerts the receiver of the call that the conversation is being recorded.

If users do not wish to be recorded during Duplex calls, they will have an option to deny permission. The Verge reports that “Duplex can recognize that and end the call with something like OK I’ll call back on an unrecorded line”. Nick Fox, VP of Product and Design for the Google Assistant told the publication that an operator will call back if a user does not grant permission to record the call.

Duplex will also work in tandem with human operators in case something goes wrong in a call. These operators will take over the call if it’s not going well.

Google is readying Duplex for testing with a limited group of “trusted testers” in the coming weeks. The company announced that the rollout will be done in a phased manner and that Duplex calls will first start with making calls about opening and closing hours of a place, followed by restaurant reservations and lastly, haircut appointments. This is largely in line with what Scott Huffman, VP of Engineering at Google told us on the sidelines of Google I/O.

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Adamya Sharma

Managing editor, Digit.in - News Junkie, Movie Buff, Tech Whizz!

Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of Thinkdigit.com as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.

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