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Solving your real-life problems with Google Duplex

Since the day I saw Terminator Genisys and iRobot, I dreamed of nothing else but capitalizing on AI to solve my real-life problems. Thanks to Google Duplex, I can proudly venture to say that I have come closer to realizing that aspiration. Now the smart Google AI can book my appointments at a hair salon and even reserve a table for 4 at a restaurant. Yes, Google Duplex is literally shouldering my burdens.

Google had been toiling at this technology for quite some time. The goal was to make the human-computer interaction as natural and seamless as possible. Google cracked the code with its recent Google voice search WaveNet. But the problem was that people still had an inkling that they were conversing with a machine, not a human. With Google Duplex, the human assumption element is no more. The product launch by Sundar Pichai in Google IO 2018 revealed how Google Duplex can help you complete your daily cores without stressing you out.

Google Duplex is a modern-day technology which helps you achieve natural conversations in the real world over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing everyday trivial tasks which do nothing more than while away your time. For instance, be it scheduling a meeting with someone, re-scheduling appointments, or even updating the status of some urgent meeting, Google Duplex will help you sound human while communicating with others.

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One of the key constraints which even humans face while communicating with others is how to respond to ambiguous questions and vague statements. Duplex does this by smart learning. Google AI learns from each conversation and makes the necessary adjustments as the conversation moves forward. It doesn’t get more natural than this!

To operate, you need to trigger the Google Assistant with a command. For instance say, “Reserve a table for three at New York Pizza & Pasta at 6 pm tomorrow,” and the rest will be taken care of by Duplex. The AI feature in Google will ring New York Pizza & Pasta and reserve a place for two. And the best part, they won’t even know that a robot is talking to them. After the call, a confirmation SMS will be sent to you.

Google Duplex – The great & the wicked

Google Duplex is interesting because of the tone of conversation it uses to communicate. Apart from the natural conversation, it also intersperses speech disfluencies & natural pauses such as “umm” and “hmm” in between, which gives people an impression that they’re talking to a real person. The good part is that Google Assistant doesn’t sound like a droning machine at all.

Google Assistant also comprehends the context of the conversation. Even when the caller is not a native speaker, the AI still understands the tone and gets the job done.

Google Duplex is a total lifesaver for travelers who have difficulty in communicating in a local language.

Google Duplex can enhance the productivity of people. From booking an appointment at a hair salon to reserving a restaurant table, it is making life easier for people who are traveling and don’t know the local language but still want to delve in the local fares and services.

The problems

To many, it seems like a terrific feature, but Google Duplex can be a creepy way to communicate with people. The company told CNET that soon they will be adding a feature in which the robots will identify themselves as robots before starting the conversation.

Another critical issue that people are worried about is the call record feature. Will Google Duplex be recording the calls? If so, this might be a legal offense to the privacy of people. And we have seen that the company has no idea how to handle privacy issues.

In Google IO 2018, there were only two scenarios that were shown. The software is trained to handle tons of situations, but eventually, it might face a problem which is new and requires your input. This means putting more burden on people to fix something which is messed-up. Until the technology is released, we cannot say what other problems Duplex will be able to handle.

When will Google Duplex be available to the public?

Google plans on testing Duplex this summer, and from the start, the focus will be centered on the few main features which include hotel reservation, hair salon appointments, and holiday booking. It is assumed that the feature will get better as the time goes by.

There is no official launch date mentioned by the company. But the first version is set to launch in the English language along with other languages which will follow suit.

Google Duplex is a complex technology. This is why the company plans on launching the product preview first so that people can get an insight into what is about to come.

Yousuf Rafi

A Caffeine dependent non-mainstream person trying to elevate small talk to medium talk. I know I will win, not immediately but definitely. I do most of the talking in my head. However, for other things, I prefer writing blogs.

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