What’s All the Hype About Google Duplex?

Recently, Google announced that it has been working on a new AI project called Duplex.

This is big news is because Duplex is a computer program which can talk to you.  You say something, and Duplex responds instantly.

Remember the movie Her?  It’s the one where Joaquim Phoenix falls in love with his operating system.  Well Duplex is the first step in making that type of interaction a reality (although I doubt seducing humans will be programed as an option).

What Duplex is Now

 The truth is, real engagement is still a ways away.

As of now, there is no scheduled release date.  Google’s presentation demonstrated just the first step in the process: the ability to make reservations.

You will ask your Google Assistant, “make me a reservation at my favorite restaurant.”  Google will make a call and the person who answers will think they are speaking to a human!  Once the reservation is made, you will receive an alert on your phone and an update to your calendar.

At this point, the user experience will change very little.  You’ll ask your Assistant to set an appointment and a few minutes later you will be notified of the results. 

The business received the call will be the ones interacting and therefore be the first to experience the actual interaction.

What Duplex Can Become

While this all sounds cool, it is only just the beginning.

Google isn’t going to waste millions of dollars developing a product which just makes reservations for you.

Although it is impossible to predict exactly where this might go, it seems that Google’s plan is to offer an Assistant with whom you can speak casually.

Like a human.

Like Her.

Why Duplex is a Big Deal

This is a huge step, not just in personal technology, but for the improvement of AI in general.

One of the massive challenges engineers face while attempting to build artificial intelligence is the ability to both communicate and understand. 

It’s one thing for your Google Assistant to call a restaurant and schedule a dinner for 5.  It is something else entirely for Google Assistant to be told, “we are all booked at 5, can you do 6?” and have the ability to check your schedule, confirming that 6 is acceptable.  All while, again, the person being called hears a voice that it believes is human.

When Will We Get It?

As of now, we must wait and see.

Chances are Google will decide to do a test run of Duplex before it is release in the coming months.

From there, we will see if Duplex is actually offered to the public.  Google could choose to hold on to the technology until they create something bigger.

If and when it is released, Duplex will undoubtedly make our lives simpler.

Just try not to fall in love.

Google Assistant may not be making reservations for you yet, but there are many ways to automate your business which are already available.  If you are interested in exploring these options, check out our Cloud Services page.

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