Google Duplex is a technology that's created to work for people, not take their jobs - at least, according to Google. The system can make calls to local businesses to place reservations on behalf of Google Assistant users.
According to the report, some big worldwide companies are already in the early stages of testing the Google Duplex AI technology for use in their own applications like call centers to answer consumers' questions. During a developer conference in May, CEO Sundar Pichai held a demonstration showing how Duplex could make a reservation at a salon or a hotel without the person on the other side supecting that they were communicating with an AI system.
Google denies testing Duplex with any specific enterprise companies. On a similar note, we wonder if Google Duplex would be able to understand when a customer is calling with a bad attitude and respond with an appropriate amount of sass. "We're now focused on consumer use cases for the Duplex technology where we can help people get things done, rather than applying it to potential enterprise use cases".
While Google's statement indicates that it is more concerned with personal voice assistant applications right now, it does not rule out pursuing enterprise customers in the future.
Amazon offers a similar service, opening Alexa's underlying technology to enterprise customers previous year. However, it's unlikely that AI research will cease after mastering simple conversations, meaning call centers could one day be largely automated using this technology.
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The primary use case mentioned in today's report is call centers, specifically the booming cloud-based market where Duplex's uncanny naturalness might serve as an advantage.
According to The Information, one "large insurance company" is already testing, but it's still in "early stages" and months from going live.
Google, to be sure, has already retooled the way Duplex interacts on calls just a bit since showing it off at I/O.
The Information report later adds that the insurance company slowed work on the project due to ethical concerns. It wasn't immediately clear during those first demo calls that people knew it was a robot they were talking to on the other end of the line.