Time has proven that artificial intelligence powered applications and services are not just another over-hyped trend which will eventually die. Google has put a lot of effort in developing machine learning and neural network capabilities. They even use Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) to process data for ML-powered services like Google Photos. Another actually useful AL-powered feature is Call Screening, which recently became available for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL devices, after being an exclusive for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The feature helps users identify spam calls and avoid them without even interacting with the caller. Now it’s time for another similar but more popular service, Google Duplex.
The service was first announced at Google I/O 2018. To refresh your mind, it is an AI and Google Assistant-powered feature which helps you call different services and book reservations. To make all of this more realistic, Google Duplex uses WaveNet – an audio processing neural network by Google. It was built into Google Assistant back in October of 2017. Currently, Google Duplex is only able to make restaurant reservations in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Eventually, the service will spread in the whole US, and most likely to Europe, too. Another limitation is that Duplex currently only speaks English. Here is Google Duplex at work, video courtesy of VentureBeat.
So here’s how Google Duplex works: you tell it to make a reservation at a specific place. Then it proceeds to confirm the date, time, how many people will be dining, and other relevant details. After confirming the details with you, Assistant calls the restaurant and tells them everything. It’s impressive that Google has trained Assistant so well that it can hear even the thickest accents. Of course, Assistant warns the business at first that the call may be recorded. Here is yet another video highlighting how Google Duplex sounds on the other end.
Google’s spokesperson has confirmed to VentureBeat that the company has just started to provide the update for a “small group” of Google Pixel users. We’re not yet sure if all three of the generations are considered, as VentureBeat only tested the feature on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. It’s no surprise that Google went with the staged rollout, especially with an update as important as this. We’re hoping to see Google Duplex expand in more countries and phones. Theoretically, there should be no limits for Assistant when it comes to localization and device support.