Google Duplex Conversational Voice AI Assistant Has Call Centers Seeing Dollar Signs

Angelica Greene
July 9, 2018

We've already seen that Google Duplex does a fairly convincing job of being like a PA, and as such, there's no reason why for the simple stuff at least, it can be the agent too.

In May, Google debuted Duplex, an artificially intelligent assistant that can make mundane phone calls on behalf of a human.

The robots on the other side of the customer support line could soon start to sound a lot more human. Citing a person familiar with Google's plans, the site reports that Google is in conversation with an unnamed large insurance company to integrate the conversational AI in handling customer service calls.

A Google spokesperson told The Information that the company isnt actively testing the technology with businesses but the “business could be exploring ways to use the technology on their own”.

We're now focused on consumer use cases for the Duplex technology and we aren't testing Duplex with any enterprise clients.

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Google's promise that its current focus is on restaurant reservations may be a comfort to call-centre employees, but it's hard not to imagine the company taking an interest in the sector.

Google has issued a statement that says Duplex AI is completely focused on consumer uses right now and it has no enterprise deployment testing underway. This move seems quite similar to what Amazon is doing by selling the technology behind Alexa to call centers. The idea is that the Duplex AI would be able to handle basic calls and assist customers with problems and questions.

Anyone who has had to reach out to a call center for assistance on an account or with a device knows that many of them are outside of the US and the operators can sometimes be hard to understand.

There is precedent for Google making Duplex available to third-parties. A new report from The Information states that the company is aiming for the technology to make its way to call centers as well. Just last week, Google better detailed Duplex's disclosure mechanism and the calling experience that businesses will hear. After public outcryat the implication of people in the future not knowing whether they were talking to humans or machines, Google adapted the bot's introduction so it clearly explains it's not a human.

Other reports by GizPress

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