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Google says no, Duplex AI won't take over human call centers

07 July, 2018, 13:44 | Author: Tara Roberts
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Citing a person familiar with Google's plans, The Information reported the company is already in conversation with at least one potential customer that would like to integrate Duplex into its operations.

Google is reportedly shopping its Duplex AI system around as a tool for call centers, according to The Information, including a large insurance company. Which is why the tech giant thinks its Duplex AI - which sounds so human and can imitate the quirks of human speech so well that it's nearly creepy - would be a ideal addition to call centers.

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. 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. "We aren't testing Duplex with any enterprise clients", a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo.

While Google's statement indicates that it is more concerned with personal voice assistant applications right now, it does not rule out pursuing enterprise customers in the future.

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If successful, Google Duplex could disrupt the call-center business and potentially put many call center workers out of their jobs.

The primary use case mentioned in today's report is call centers, specifically the booming cloud-based market where Duplex's uncanny naturalness might serve as an advantage.

Amazon offers a similar service, opening Alexa's underlying technology to enterprise customers a year ago.

Google Duplex may have a solution to that problem by making the automated interactions less robotic and more life-like. As we wait for Duplex testing to start rolling out publicly, a new report suggests that smartphone users aren't the only ones anxiously awaiting its debut, and that companies running big call centers are also taking a deep look at what Duplex could do for them. According to The Information, "ethical concerns" overshadowed Google's demonstration of the Duplex technology, and the company interested in the assistant has pumped the brakes on the proposed project.

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