Google is gearing up to release its Duplex technology that was presented at the Google I/O event in May 2018.
The technology allows Google Assistant to make phone calls autonomously on behalf of a user to achieve specific tasks like making a reservation in a restaurant or booking an appointment in a hair salon.
Google has shared a video showing the system making a restaurant reservation for a user. It starts with a request from the user: “Hey Google, book a table for two at El Cocotero on Tuesday at 7.” The assistant then calls the restaurant unaided, retrieving its contact details from Google Search – and has a conversation with an employee over the phone.
It also introduces itself as Google Assistant, rather than pretending to be a human caller.
The most impressive thing about the demo is the incredibly natural sound of the language used, from the intonation to the pauses and realistic hesitations. If the Assistant is successful in its call, a notification is sent to the Google account owner and the event is added to their calendar.
Users are also notified if the call couldn’t be completed. Initial user testing is scheduled to take place this summer in the US.