Google is expanding the availability of Duplex, the voice assistant that helps you book restaurant reservations over the phone.
According to the Duplex support page, customers can now use the feature on any Android device running version 5.0 or newer as well as iPhones with Google Assistant installed. The service is currently limited to the US in 43 states but we should see a global rollout of the service soon.
Back in November Google’s AI chat agent had grown from a “set of trusted tester users” to a “small group” of Google Pixel owners. These users were given access to Duplex via Google Assistant through which they can book a restaurant reservation in “select cities”.
As of right now, that seems to be the only service that Google Duplex will offer even for the iPhones and new Android phones. The broader plans for Google Duplex are to make all kinds of reservations and “handle simple and repetitive customer calls” before taking help from a human if the conversation gets complicated.
Duplex was first introduced about a year ago at the Google I/O conference. Google CEO Sundar Pichai gave an impressive demo, showing how a human-sounding Duplex voice can naturally interact with a real person on the other end of the line. Duplex faced some immediate scrutiny over disclosure and ethics issues, and Google responded by enabling the feature to disclose that it’s a Google Assistant.
As the voice assistant expands, it should help Google bring voice UIs into more and more consumer and enterprise applications.