Google Assistant is pretty great already, but there are some things you need an actual human for. Not every business has an online booking system, so in some cases, you have to talk to an actual person to make a reservation (the horror!). Google's solution for this is 'Duplex,' which will allow Assistant to actually call a business for you to set up an appointment or reservation.
Once the feature goes live, you'll be able to ask Assistant to book something for you. For example, you can say "Make me a haircut appointment on Tuesday morning anytime between 10 and 12." After that, Assistant will call the business and interact with the person on the other site of the call to book the appointment. The person on the other side of the call will probably think Assistant is a person, especially since it uses "hmm" and "um" between words.
The on-stage demo was nothing short of incredible, but we'll have to wait and see how well it works in real-world testing. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, "We're working really hard to get this right." The company has published a blog post going into more detail about how Duplex works.
While the company didn't announce a release date for Duplex, Pichai did say that it will be used to update closing/opening hours in Maps within the coming weeks. Essentially, Google will automatically call businesses during holidays to verify when they will be open. So instead of showing "Memorial Day might affect these hours" for a store or restaurant, Search and Maps will show the updated times.