Google Duplex to Get its First Public Trial

Google Duplex to Get its First Public Trial

Google’s robotic calling service, which can have actual conversations with humans to make appointments or reservations is getting its first small-scale public trial and will be calling businesses in the next few weeks. Google were not specific about how many businesses were to be contacted.

Google Duplex was first premiered at the Google Developers’ conference in May and swiftly became one of the most talked about demos of the year. At the event, we heard Duplex book a table at a restaurant. It called up, spoke to a human member of staff and confirmed the details. 



While the voice was synthesised, it was incredibly lifelike – even adding “uh-huh” and “hmm” to the flow of the conversation. It was so realistic that the recipient wasn’t even aware that they were talking to a robot, causing enormous debates about the rights and wrongs of this kind of use of Artificial Intelligence. 


The Human Element

Immediately, Duplex will identify itself as an automated system and lets you know that it’s going to record the call – this is to stop the system failing to comply with California’s two-party consent law for monitoring phone calls. At that point, the recipient will have the option to say, “I don’t want to be recorded” and the system will hang up. 

After that, a human operator from one of Google’s locations will call back and make the booking on the user’s behalf before opting the business out from getting calls from Google Duplex in the future. A human operator will also step in if the AI gets confused, which is roughly one in five calls. The AI will need to get better if it is to be rolled out the rest of the US and beyond. 

What this Means for Business

Naturally, there are implications for businesses as this continues to roll out as the AI uses information on its database when making the calls to businesses. This is information that is fed from businesses most important online citation: their Google My Business listing, so it’s important to make sure that your NAP (name, address & phone number) is up to date. 

Right now, Google’s data on this information is not complete and Google Maps will display a message that it may not have the right information. Any information that the system receives from the human will be immediately placed into Google’s database, which will be then viewable to everyone.

Most companies do seem eager to get onboard. According to a customer survey they conducted in April - 60% of small businesses that rely on customer bookings do not have an online booking system set up on their website, so Google Duplex can provide an excellent alternative.  

Ascensor can help you to elevate your business across Google various platforms to better serve your marketing strategy – we take a proactive approach in making sure that you get the most out of it to establish trust and visibility in your local area. All you will have to do is pick up the phone. 


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