If you thought Google was just a search engine, you couldn’t be more wrong. Sure, the Google Glass project didn’t take off as planned but Google has been working on its A.I. technology all the while, and at the recent Google’s I/O 2018 conference, CEO Sundar Pichai just walked us through what they had in store for us users.
The New way to Communicate: With Your Virtual Assistant
Now, not many of us use Google Assistant for anything substantial. Until now, that is. Sure, we could tell it to set up that occasional alarm or just spend time with it to see what it can do when we are bored. But that’s about it- and Google knows it. That’s why they have been working to make the Assistant smarter and enable it to do tasks that a real assistant would. Google tries to make our lives easier, and the new technology is just another example of it.
Having Real Conversations
With the new A.I. technology, called Google Duplex, Google plans to help you do every small task, including schedule appointments. Duplex can call up the hair salon on your behalf for instance, and talk to the receptionist to book an appointment for you. Pichai showed a real life example of a conversation between Duplex and a hair salon, something that users will be able to try out on their own when the technology becomes available.
All you need to do to start is to tell Duplex when you want to book an appointment and why you need it for, and it can figure the rest out. For instance, if the receptionist tells that they only have a haircut appointment available on the time you want, and you need to go only for a haircut, Duplex will go ahead. If the receptionist tells Duplex that the store will be closed on that particular day, Dupelx will not hang up the phone straightaway.
Instead, it will ask when the store will be open, as well as the nearest booking appointment times available and then relay that information back to you, enabling you to make a quicker decision.
What’s So Special About the Google Duplex?
And it does all this with a really human like voice that is nearly impossible to distinguish. It’s so realistic, and the voices can adapt to the changing scenarios so easily that you would feel it’s a normal human having a conversation. You would regularly heard the ‘mm-hmms’ and ‘uhms’, just like you would from a regular guy you are having a conversation with.
Duplex’ ability to react intelligently even when an unexpected turn of events take place is what makes it special and while the technology is still under development, we did see a good glimpse of what it has to offer, and boy we are excited!
Google is still testing the technology on specific scenarios to ensure that it works perfectly all the time.
Since the announcement, there has been concerns among businesses as to the potential misuse. Businesses say that to be fair, they would want to know if they are talking to a real person or not.
Google has stated that it would tell before the call starts that it is Duplex the virtual assistant calling, so that businesses know just who they are talking to. Google believes these new technologies will make everyday life simpler and efficient and wants to be transparent along the way, so that all stakeholders know just what is involved and how the voice is going to be used.