Google Duplex AI Assistant ready to replace call centers

"Hello? Duplex? This is Duplex

Of course, as the market expands, so will the competition, and Google isn't the only major tech firm that sees opportunity in entering call centres.

The company this afternoon denied The Information's report on "very early stage" testing of Duplex for call centers. Google Duplex is an extension of Google Assistant that takes natural human-sounding language to call actual businesses and speak to people, all while posing as a real person.

It's not alone, either. Most companies already outsource the work to countries where they can pay paltry wages in order to keep the expenses related to customer service down, and AI would likely cut those costs even more.

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While the tech company's focus has been on how Duplex can make life easier for customers, recent reports suggest Google is also looking into ways the system can be leveraged on the other side of the phone line. If it gets stuck, it can always refer the call to its human supervisor. 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.

"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".

Google Duplex first wowed us back at the Google IO 2018 developer event back in May, and since then we've been able to test it out for ourselves. The idea of calling a customer service rep and not knowing whether you're talking to a robot or a human is a bit unsettling.

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There is precedent for Google making Duplex available to third-parties. Google wowed people with its demo of Duplex that included the AI assistant inserting "um" and "uh" sounds to make the conversation seem more fluid.

A report from The Information reveals that third-parties are in the "very early stages of testing Google's technology for use in other applications".

However the company has admitted that the ethical concerns that overshadowed the original presentation have slowed work on the project, this person said.

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