Google Duplex Demo – Who needs humans to make calls for appointments anymore?
Day 2 of Google I/O 2018 saw the public demo of Google Duplex, the newest evolution of the Google Assistant AI. CEO Sundar Pichai demoed a real phone call by the Assistant AI to a salon to book a haircut appointment which was so mindblowing that the AI sounded more real than some actual humans!
It even does a “mmm-hmmm”. A little too real.
Google’s demo of Google Duplex at I/O 2018 was nothing short of mind-blowing. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai played to the audience, a real recording of a phone call placed by the Google Assistant AI to a salon to book a haircut appointment. The AI stuns audiences early on by bridging the conversation with the filler “mmm-hmmm”. The AI goes on to seamlessly finish the conversation leading to a successful booking. With the voice sounding so natural and real, the person on the other end had no idea they weren’t talking to a human.
Sundar Pichai reiterated in the demo that the call that everyone just heard was a real one and staged in no way at all.
“The amazing thing is that Assistant can actually understand the nuances of conversation. We’ve been working on this technology for many years. It’s called Google Duplex.”
The second phone conversation was even more jaw-dropping as the Google Assistant encountered a particularly unexpected conversation while trying to book a table at a small restaurant.
The assistant understood to ask for waiting times when the lady on the phone informs him that table bookings are undertaken only for a party of 7 people or more. It also ended the call with an “Oh, I gotcha. Thanks” – so smart!
Pichai went on to say that the technology is still being developed and the team will roll it out when it’s perfect. In the meantime, however, he explained that a smaller, more straightforward application of this technology will be rolled out in the coming weeks – Like the assistant calling businesses on holidays to update the work hours on Google.
This, Pichai explains, will reduce the number of calls that a business gets on a holiday from customers asking for their business hours. We certainly live in exciting times when it comes to the AI context and can’t wait for what comes next.
Watch a 10-minute recap of the keynote of Google I/O 2018 here