Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Google's controversial human sounding AI is being tested for call centres

Google's controversial human sounding AI is being tested for call centres

After the publication of the report, Google in a statement to 9to5Google said that the only focus of their Duplex technology is on consumer applications.

With Duplex, the Google Assistant will call restaurants and salons to make reservations on your behalf.

A report from The Information suggests Google may be making a play to find other applications for its human-sounding assistant and has already started experimenting with ways to use Duplex to do with away roles now filled by humans - a move that could have ramifications for millions of people.

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Duplex would handle simple calls for the insurance company, and if the customer started asking complex questions the bot can't handle a human would step in, according to the report.

"We aren't testing Duplex with any enterprise clients".

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 emphasized that it is "taking a slow and measured approach" with Duplex - likely due to the initial backlash - and reiterated the three limited domains that the company has so far announced. This move seems quite similar to what Amazon is doing by selling the technology behind Alexa to call centers. However, it's unlikely that AI research will cease after mastering simple conversations, meaning call centers could one day be largely automated using this technology. Duplex is created to operate in very specific use cases, and now we're focused on testing with restaurant reservations, hair salon booking, and holiday hours with a limited set of trusted testers.

Of course, as the market expands, so will the competition, and Google isn't the only major tech firm that sees opportunity in entering call centres.

Google, to be sure, has already retooled the way Duplex interacts on calls just a bit since showing it off at I/O. Testing, they note, is still in the early stages, and the system is several months from going live.

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The Information report later adds that the insurance company slowed work on the project due to ethical concerns. 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.

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