Google's AI-based assistant that makes automated calls to businesses is starting to expand internationally. After a wide rollout in most US states, the service is now coming to New Zealand as part of a limited pilot.

The initial program is rather limited, as end-users won't be able to use Duplex directly. Instead, the system will call local businesses to confirm their opening hours during Labour Day on October 28. For the time being, the company will try this technology with a limited number of locations, and use the outcome of these calls to automatically update their opening hours on Google Maps and Search.

The company also states that it will make sure not to call locations that have opted out from its automated calling service. It also emphasizes that Duplex will identify itself clearly to avoid confusion during the call, provided the latter is actually placed by a machine...