Google Duplex: you thought you were calling a robot, it's a human on the phone

ByDaniel Camilo 2019-06-07 445

First introduced at Google I/O 2018, Google Duplex promised to use Google's wizard to book a restaurant for you. It so happens that Google actually also uses humans to make calls for users. We thought Google Duplex was only an automated service. When Google presented its service in May 2018, it explained that the usefulness of Duplex was not to have to make a call to you to make a reservation at the restaurant for example. All you have to do is ask your smartphone, and it will take care of itself, thanks to the Google assistant, of speaking with the person answering the phone.

However, as the New York Times learned on Wednesday, the Google assistant is not always a robot. "About 25% of the calls made by Duplex start with a human, and about 15% of those who start with an automated system see a human intervene at some point," the American newspaper told Google. In short, you are thinking of using a robot, you finally have a real secretary who takes care of making your calls for you.

The New York Times also tried Google Duplex to book a table in "more than a dozen restaurants", but could only book in four of them. Of the four bookings, only one was completed using Google Duplex without any human intervention from Google.

When asked by the New York Times, Google replied that Duplex also uses real people to "be respectful to business". "Google will use humans when calling for several situations, such as to find out if the company is making bookings, or if the Wizard user is not practicing spam," the daily explains. In addition, as the American newspaper suggests, the use of real people - whose calls are recorded - could allow Google to create a database of restaurant calls to enrich its artificial intelligence in this type of call.

For the moment, Google Duplex is only available in the United States, when booking a table in a restaurant. Google has not announced when this service will be deployed elsewhere in the world. In addition, at this year's Google I/O, the company presented Duplex for the Web, which allows you to automatically fill in fields on a web page to book a car online, for example.

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