Recently at I/O 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced an amazing feature that will upgrade Google Assistant to let it make phone calls and schedule appointments at your request. The virtual assistant sounds incredibly natural and even adds nuances like “mmhmm” in the middle of the conversation.
Verge News Editor Chris Welch quotes Pichai as saying:
“The amazing thing is that Assistant can actually understand the nuances of conversation…We’ve been working on this technology for many years. It’s called Google Duplex.”
As amazing as this technological advancement is, Pichai was clear in saying that it is still in development. The plan is to test the feature to make appointments, schedule restaurant reservations and get holiday hours for its users.
Google Duplex is trained by real-time supervised training, meaning it is monitored until it performs to the desired quality level and is then left to complete assigned tasks on its own. However, there are still some instances that are overwhelming to the system, and in such instances it will transfer to a human operator to complete the task.
Overall, I am both fascinated and slightly concerned for the possible consequences that come from relying even more on technology. My phone etiquette isn’t always as perfect as the one displayed by the Google Assistant so I see the various ways it could improve productivity and just overall user experience, but more than anything I’m curious to see what other innovations it inspires.
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