At Google I/O last year, we got our first glimpse of Duplex, an AI that can place phone calls for you to secure dining reservations. Google rolled Duplex out in an extremely limited test late last year. Now, Duplex is coming to Pixel phones in 43 states, and non-Pixel phones will have access soon.
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.
Google's automated reservation service, Duplex, has rolled out almost all over the US (except for Kentucky and Louisiana) after it became available as a limited test following last year's announcement at Google I/O. Over time, the company has received both criticism and praise for it, and it was certainly very interesting to see the service growing. In an interim conclusion, Google has now stated that currently about 25 percent of calls placed through the Duplex service are actually conducted by humans, and that in about 15 percent of robot calls a human has to intervene at some point.
Google Assistant already makes our lives so much easier by handling reminders, remembering flight information and calendar events, managing the lights in our homes, and recommending restaurants for us. Thanks to Duplex, it can even call the latter to make reservations on your behalf while you watch cat videos on YouTube. Unfortunately, the feature has been exclusive to Pixel devices since it came out in November and was limited to a couple of cities in the US. At the beginning of March, we reported Duplex would be available on non-Pixel phones in 43 American states within the following weeks. As expected, it is now expanding to a larger audience across the US.
When we first got to see Google demo its new Duplex service at I/O earlier this year, it was an absolute eye-opener. Digital assistants were evolving to the point where they could effortlessly interact with the general public, able to handle the messy uncertainties of language well enough to make phone calls on our behalf. Ever since, we've been aching for a chance to put this power to use for ourselves, and for a lucky new group of users, that day is finally arriving.
One of the most impressive (and unsettling) I/O moments happened earlier this year when Google showed off Duplex, an AI chatbot that can place calls for you like a robotic personal assistant. Google wouldn't confirm its plans for Duplex at the time, but it's almost ready for the general public. Duplex is hitting Pixel phones starting next month, but it won't be available everywhere.
We've been seeing the natural-language abilities of the Google Assistant continuously evolve over the years, slowly getting better at listening to us and responding. A couple months back, though, we got our first taste of what could be a sea change for the Assistant's ability to effortlessly carry on conversations, as Google demoed its new Duplex AI tech. As we wait for Duplex testing to start rolling out publicly, a new report suggests that smartphone users aren't the only ones anxiously awaiting its debut, and that companies running big call centers are also taking a deep look at what Duplex could do for them.
One of the most interesting, and some might say unsettling moments at Google I/O 2018 was the demo of Google Duplex. We saw how Assistant could call a business and get you a reservation by talking to a real person. Google even added in weird human ticks like "umm." Now, there's a new demo video of Duplex, and this time Assistant identified itself.