Google Duplex Assistant could replace call centers, report says

07 July, 2018, 13:42 | Author: Sammy Rose
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"We aren't testing Duplex with any enterprise clients", a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo.

The company this afternoon denied The Information's report on "very early stage" testing of Duplex for call centers.

If Google was looking to bring Duplex into call centres, it wouldn't be the first tech giant to consider rolling its AI into the telemarketing industry.

Regardless of what side of the fence you are on regarding the credibility of its Duplex voice technology, so far it has only been shown in applications that enhance the company's AI assistant. A report from a year ago, again from The Information, claims that Amazon is planning to import the same natural language processing that powers Alexa into call centres. "We're now focused on consumer use cases for the Duplex technology where we can help people get things done, rather than applying it to potential enterprise use cases".

According to the report, some big worldwide companies are already in the early stages of testing the Google Duplex AI technology for use in their own applications like call centers to answer consumers' questions. The technology is an expansion of its Google Assistant AI that is meant to sound much more human.

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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. In this example, the company's lead in natural language processing allows it to understand a wider range of user responses for a longer period before handing off to a human.

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.

There is precedent for Google making Duplex available to third-parties. The API can be used to transcribe a customer's call and distinguish 2-4 speakers, while taking into account background noise, static, and hold music. The interested company remains unnamed, but it is reported to be a large insurance company.

Google, to be sure, has already retooled the way Duplex interacts on calls just a bit since showing it off at I/O. 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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