ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

Google's controversial human sounding AI is being tested for call centres

09 July 2018, 09:15 | Jodi Jackson

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After the publication of the report, Google in a statement to 9to5Google said that the only focus of their Duplex technology is on consumer applications. Alphabet Inc.'s Google (GOOGL) product called Google Duplex, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered assistant capable of speaking like a human, is appearing awesome to some and scary to others. The problem that many had is that in the tech demo that Google showed, the AI didn't identify itself to let the person on the other end of the call know they weren't talking to a human. To no one's surprise, it looks like at least one major company is discussing the use of Duplex for customer service calls.

A report from The Information reveals that third-parties are in the "very early stages of testing Google's technology for use in other applications".

"We aren't testing Duplex with any enterprise clients".

The primary use case mentioned in today's report is call centers, specifically the booming cloud-based market where Duplex's uncanny naturalness might serve as an advantage. Duplex is created to operate in very specific use cases, and now we're focused on testing with restaurant reservations, hair salon booking, and holiday hours with a limited set of trusted testers.

Google, though, has since issued a denial that it's working on any "enterprise" use cases for Google Duplex, and for the time being is concentrating on a limited number of consumer uses - booking appointments at hair salons and restaurants, for example.

If Google was looking to bring Duplex into call centres, it wouldn't be the first tech giant to consider rolling its AI into the telemarketing industry. It's important that we get the experience right and we're taking a slow and measured approach as we incorporate learnings and feedback from our tests. If Google AI would make it easier on the caller, would this not be a good thing for everyone? The bots would handle the simple calls with humans ready to step in when needed.

We've been seeing the natural-language abilities of the Google Assistant continuously evolve over the years, slowly getting better at listening to us and responding.

There is precedent for Google making Duplex available to third-parties.

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