Google Duplex Conversational Voice AI Assistant Has Call Centers Seeing Dollar Signs

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Google both impressed and creeped out a lot of people out there when it showed off Duplex AI back in May. The problem that many had is that in the tech demo that Google showed, the AI didn’t identify itself to let the person on the other end of the call know they weren't talking to a human. Google later promised that the AI would identify itself in the future. While that tech demo focused on Duplex AI helping humans to make appointments, call centers want to flip the script.

Duplex AI is being eyed by call center operators as the first line of assistance for customer inquiries. Reports indicate that at least one insurance company is eyeing Duplex to handle routine calls. The idea is that the Duplex AI would be able to handle basic calls and assist customers with problems and questions. If Duplex is unable to answer the caller's question, it would forward to the caller to a human as the second line of defense.

Anyone who has had to reach out to a call center for assistance on an account or with a device knows that many of them are outside of the U.S. and the operators can sometimes be difficult to understand. If Google AI would make it easier on the caller, would this not be a good thing for everyone? Google doesn't think so, at least not right now.

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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. The search giant certainly hasn’t ruled out enterprise use in the future. Google, at least for now, is completely focused on consumer testing and fine-tuning consumer aspects of the system.