Google Duplex could soon take over call centres

When Google introduced Google Duplex, its AI assistant created to speak like a human, the company showed off how the average person could use the tech to save time making reservations and whatnot.

The robots on the other side of the customer support line could soon start to sound a lot more human.

According to a report from The Information, Google may be considering licensing Duplex to call centers and telemarketers.

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. And that one large insurance company in particular is in the early stages of testing. Google is "currently focused on consumer use cases" and categorically notes that it's not "testing Duplex with any enterprise clients". 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 flawless addition to call centers.

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Google has issued a statement that says Duplex AI is completely focused on consumer uses right now and it has no enterprise deployment testing underway.

We're now focused on consumer use cases for the Duplex technology and we aren't testing Duplex with any enterprise clients. Now comes a report from The Information, which says call centers are another focus beyond businesses using it to make simple appointments, reservations and the like.

This report comes during a time when the cloud-based customer call-center industry is increasingly growing one that raked in $6.8 billion previous year with no signs of slowing down.

Google in recent weeks invited tech journalists out to restaurants on both coasts to put Duplex through the paces in that setting. If Google AI would make it easier on the caller, would this not be a good thing for everyone? 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. In fact, ethical concerns have apparently slowed down work on the product.

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