Making a reservation at the restaurants, or taking a salon appointment is one of the most painful tasks. What if someone else could do that tiresome job for you? Google might help you with that. The tech titan just unveiled a startling new technology called Google Duplex, which will call a restaurant and make a reservation according to your needs using a real-human sounding voice and speech pattern and will report you back when it’s done.
“Today we announce Google Duplex, a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out ‘real world’ tasks over the phone,” Google posted today on its AI blog. “The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments.”
The concept is pretty simple. All you need to do just ask your Google Assistant to book a restaurant for you. Duplex then makes a call to the restaurant, talks to the concierge and reserves a table for you. In order to make the conversation experience comfortable, the Google Duplex technology is created to sound natural. Here you can listen to an actual conversation between Google Duplex and a hotel concierge, which may leave you speechless. Duplex handled the situation so well, with a natural sound that anyone will think it’s human. For instance, the umms, ahhs, and ohhs it interjected into the conversation for its time to think, to restate, or to react.
However, the technology is currently nowhere near universal. Google will start testing the Duplex technology within Google Assistant this summer. It will help users make a restaurant booking, get holiday hours, or make a salon appointment over the phone, but it won’t make any general conversation.
“One of the key research insights was to constrain Duplex to closed domains, which are narrow enough to explore extensively,” Google engineers Yaniv Leviathan and Yossi Matias state in the post. “Duplex can only carry out natural conversations after being deeply trained in such domains. It cannot carry out general conversations.”
When released, Duplex will compete with Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa that can do the similar thing, but only if there’s a pre-built technology that can connect to a restaurant’s electronic booking system. Instead of just booking a restaurant, this technology might do verities of boring and time-consuming tasks for us in the near future.