Who you gonna call? Google Duplex

8th June 2018

Unveiled onstage at their developer’s conference, Google Assistant’s newest technology will leave you in awe.

The new technology, which has been named Google Duplex, was introduced at the annual conference by Google’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai, who said that Duplex would be launched as an “experiment” over the summer. 

Cheers and gasps were heard during the demonstration, which showed pre-recorded conversations between Google’s Assistant and local business employees, who seemed completely unaware that they were speaking to artificial intelligence.

The first call demonstrated the Google Assistant booking a hair appointment on behalf of a “client” and showcased a natural, friendly, female voice. The second, which seemed to go off-script in parts, showed a restaurant enquiry and featured a very human-like, male voice. Despite the confusion, the Google Assistant was able to understand the situation and respond accordingly.

The computer-generated voice sounded much more advanced than any other virtual assistant on the market, even human sounds like “mmmhm” were heard during the calls. Experts predict that this, and the assistant’s ability to make calls will give Google a major advantage over its rivals. 

“The assistant can actually understand the nuances of conversation,” says Pichai.

“We’ve been working on this technology for many years, it brings together all of our investments over the years in natural language understanding, deep learning, and text to speech.”

He also reassured the audience that the calls, which were between the Google Assistant and two human employees, were 100% real. 

This next-generation of A.I technology is still under development, which is hard to believe when you see how well it seems to work already. The idea is that, in future, the software can be used to call businesses to confirm their holiday opening times, and would then automatically update the information on the pages Google provides about them.

"Done correctly, it will save time for people and generate a lot of value for businesses," suggested Mr Pichai.

Check out the demonstration below:

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