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Google Duplex gets its first public trial

At Google I/O earlier this year, we got our first look at Google Duplex, the companies new AI calling service. It was met with both awe and criticism in terms of validity and ethics. Since then, Google has reworked a few things to address concerns, and is now pushing Duplex AI out into its first public trial.

Google has announced that Duplex will be entering its first public trial, and a few businesses over the coming weeks will be receiving calls. Google wouldn’t divulge details on how many businesses are currently involved.

The BBC was there in a hummus restaurant when Google Duplex first got to flex its muscles. The restaurant owner picks up the phone and the AI dutifully mentions that it is Google’s automated booking service and that it will record the call.

After the usual back and forth, a table for five at 8 PM was booked. The restaurant owner said, “You don't feel that you're speaking to a robot,”.

The reporter on the scene then also spoke to Google Duplex. The AI asked for a table for three, but the reporter said they only make reservations for four. The AI then replied “Oh, OK, cool. In that case, what’s the wait time?”.

Google is not allowing these calls to be recorded yet, but eventually, audio from these AI-driven calls will be released.

KitGuru Says: The technology is undoubtedly impressive, but there are still many hurdles to face from a technical and ethical point of view. What’s your opinion on Google Duplex?

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