Google announced all kind of goodies at Google I/O this year, and one of the most interesting was Google Duplex. The company describes this as a “new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out ‘real world’ tasks over the phone.”
What exactly is Google Duplex?
It is a system that can hold conversations with humans in a realistic way. Pichai demonstrated how Google Assistant could make calls at a hair salon and make an appointment. Naturally, you’d get a notification and calendar entry on your Android device.
The unveiling of Duplex and Google Assistant’s capabilities captured the imagination and also walked the line of being creepy. Chatting with a bot via text is one thing. Having a computer make calls for you is a whole new deal.
What can it do?
Initially Google Duplex will focus on three kinds of task: making restaurant reservations, scheduling hair appointments and finding out businesses’ holiday opening hours.
When can I get google Duplex?
Google is set to start testing the feature in a public beta via Google Assistant at some point in the summer, although an exact release date or the regions it’ll be available in have yet to be announced.
For me, Duplex is the first step toward having a digital twin that can outsource tasks to. Sure, it’s a bit creepy, but crazy useful.
Food for thought :
Does Google Assistant have to disclose it’s not human? Are umms and hmms a step too far on the realism front? And will humans shun a bot when it calls?