22 November 2018
At this year's Google I/O event, we got to see a number of announcements from Google but one of them received a lot of attention. It was the unveiling of Google Duplex which not only fascinated people but also made them ask a lot of questions. The thought of having an AI calling via phone to book appointments is interesting and scary at the same time. And now, Google has released a new video with the hope of reducing the scaring part.
The new Duplex demo video is pretty much the same as the one shown by Google at the event. It shows a woman asking Assistant to make a reservation for two at a restaurant of her choice. Assistant goes on to ask a few questions like alternative time slot for booking before proceeding with the call. It is on the call where you will notice the biggest difference and it is that Assistant actually starts the call by identifying itself. This is something which did not happen during the Google I/O 2018 demo and which was one of the major reasons behind people feeling skeptical about the feature.
The Google Assistant introduction is what is quite crucial here. It is simply because otherwise, the person on the other side of the call would not know that he/she is talking to a robot/AI. Once they know that it is a robot talking and not a human, they can choose whether they would like to proceed with the call or not. This is exactly what the people present at the venue of the first demo were talking about once the demo was over.
There is no doubt that Duplex is a futuristic technology which can be helpful for both customers and business owners in many ways but like every other tech, Google needs to work on the user privacy maintenance. But before you start thinking about it too much, it should be noted that there is a plenty of time before Duplex can be seen commonly, let alone becoming a mainstream option. In the meantime, we can expect Google to make more improvements.