Google made some waves last year when it gave a live demonstration of its advancement in AI and machine learning in the form of Google Duplex. The technology raised some eyebrows over the similarity of Duplex’s voice to humans, and the fact that another person couldn’t tell if it was from a robot. However, Google is going ahead with its project and has revealed that the technology is rolling to iPhones and a lot more non-Pixel Android phones.
As per a report by The Verge, Google confirmed its roll-out in an email which stated that the service will be made available to phones running Android 5.0 and higher along with iPhones which have Google Assistant installed. The service is currently limited to the US in 43 states but we should see a global rollout of the service soon.
Back in November Google’s AI chat agent had grown from a “set of trusted tester users” to a “small group” of Google Pixel owners. These users were given access to Duplex via Google Assistant through which they can book a restaurant reservation in “select cities”.
As of right now, that seems to be the only service that Google Duplex will offer even for the iPhones and new Android phones. The broader plans for Google Duplex are to make all kinds of reservations and “handle simple and repetitive customer calls” before taking help from a human if the conversation gets complicated.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced Duplex last year at the Google I/O 2018 and demonstrated how the AI system could book an appointment at a salon and a table at a restaurant. The Duplex’s call to a hair salon receptionist mimicked the “ums” and “hmms” pauses of human speech which caused debate as to whether Google should disclose beforehand that the customer is speaking to the voice assistant. Eventually, Google said that its Duplex AI voice calling system would have disclosure built-in.