Updated Google Assistant can make phone calls to tackle real world tasks


Google conducted its Google I/O annual developer conference recently and announced some major upgrades, including a big change in Google Assistant. 

One of the major upgrades is that the company’s virtual Google Assistant can now make actual phone calls on user’s behalf, making life more simpler for them. The tech giant announced that Google Assistant can cut down user’s work in half by making appointments or reservations via phone calls for them when they can’t be booked online. Using a technology called ‘Google Duplex’, it will roll out as an experiment soon.

Engadget explains, during the feature’s demonstration by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, the tech giant showed the Assistant calling and booking an appointment with a hair salon for its ‘client’. The user commanded the details regarding the appointment and Assistant did the job for them and notified the user later on. During the second demonstration, the Assistant even booked a restaurant reservation along with tackling numerous complicated questions easily.

As per Google, the Duplex AI system is ‘a new technology for conducting normal conversations to carry out real world tasks over the phone’ without the other person realizing they are talking to a machine. To sound more natural, the Assistant even showed hesitations and affirmations during the phone call by words such as ‘er’ and ‘mm-hmm’ Google is still working on refining the system but the testing phase will be launched within few weeks.

throughout the demonstrations, the Assistant did not identify itself as a machine and instead appeared to deceive as a normal human. However, in the blog post, Google has said that this might change.

“It’s important to us that users and businesses have a good experience with this service, and transparency is a key part of that. We want to be clear about the intent of the call so businesses understand the context. We’ll be experimenting with the right approach over the coming months.”