Google is beginning to roll out its human-sounding Google Duplex technology to users outside of the US, starting with a trial in New Zealand.
With Duplex, you can ask Google Assistant to call businesses for you to make reservations, book appointments, get hours of operation, and more. Google Duplex has been in testing since it debuted in May 2018, and although Google is promising to take "a slow and measured approach" with this technology, it's already rolled out across 48 US states and is expanding internationally.
What is Google Duplex?
AI ditches the robot voice
Google Duplex is a technology powering a new Google Assistant feature. Billed as a completely automated system, Google Duplex can essentially make calls for you, but with a natural-sounding human voice instead of a robotic one. It's able to understand "complex sentences, fast speech, and long remarks," according to Google, which envisions us using Duplex to book appointments and reservations.
How does Google Duplex work?
There’s no learning curve and no extra step to set up Duplex.
Booking an appointment
When you find a business using Google Search, Maps, or Google Assistant, you can ask Google Assistant to call you on your behalf, for tasks like booking an appointment. Google Assistant will confirm specific details like your preferred time, type of service, or size of party.
Once this information is confirmed, Google Assistant will try to book an appointment by using an online booking partner (if available) or by calling the business using the Duplex automated voice-calling technology. Google said calls are recorded for quality assurance.
Duplex can call any US business that has their information listed on Google. Google said businesses that have opted in to receiving calls will get calls from Google Duplex to confirm holiday hours, such as open and close times for Thanksgiving, as well as to book reservations. But businesses can opt-out from receiving these calls by going to settings in their Google My Business account.
Can you trust Google Duplex?
Pocket-lint talks about this in detail, here.
Where is Google Duplex available?
Google Duplex initially launched for Pixel users, and, at first, it would only call select restaurants in NYC, Atlanta, Phoenix, and SF. However, this feature is more widely available now. It can be used on any phone with the Google Assistant app, or that has access to Google Search or Google Maps. Duplex is also now live in 48 US states (see the full list here), and Google is piloting it in New Zealand.