- Google has started to roll out its artificial intelligence-powered reservation booking service, called Google Duplex, to some Pixel users.
- The feature debuted over the summer at Google's I/O conference, where it stunned the audience with its eerily human-sounding voice, including its usage of "um" and "ah."
- Critics first questioned the ethics of AI software making phone calls without first identifying itself to the person on the line, but Google Duplex did in fact identify itself, according to multiple businesses where Business Insider made reservations.
- The service is beneficial for those who are shy about placing phone calls, but it's just as simple (if not quicker) to make a reservation with OpenTable or Google Maps.
Google is bringing Pixel users one step closer to never having to make another phone call again thanks to a new voice-enabled tool that can schedule appointments and book dinner reservations for you.
Duplex, the newest artificial intelligence tool for Google Assistant, has started rolling out to select Pixel customers, Google confirmed to VentureBeat. The technology can perform actual phone calls for you in order to make you a haircut appointment, or book a restaurant reservation.
"We’re currently ramping up the ability to book restaurant reservations through the Google Assistant over the phone using Duplex technology," a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat. "To help deliver a good experience to Pixel users and to businesses, we’re starting with a slow rollout … and will expand to more Pixel users as we continue to ramp up."
Google has not yet responded to Business Insider's questions about the Duplex rollout.
Google debuted the technology back in May at its annual I/O conference, but never provided a clear timeline of when Duplex would be available for customer use. So while not all Pixel customers may have access to the technology yet, our device did have Duplex software enabled.
Take a look at how you can use Google Duplex to make a reservation:
To get started, all you have to do is ask your Google Assistant to make a restaurant reservation.
You only get three options off the bat that are (by default) near your location, so to get different results, you can ask more pointed questions — such as type of food, price range, or neighborhood.
When Google presented the technology earlier this year, it showed Duplex making a reservation at a salon. However, in our tests, we could only get the technology to work with restaurant reservations.
Once you've identified the restaurant you want to book, ask Google Assistant to make a reservation there in order to engage the Duplex feature.
Your Assistant will ask a series of questions: how many people the reservation is for, what time you want to book, and even if your reservation time is flexible in case the restaurant is booked up already.
For some restaurants, Duplex won't be able to make reservations. It could be because the restaurant doesn't take phone reservations, or the business has disabled the use of Duplex there for booking appointments. Google Assistant doesn't specify.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider