Google has announced that Duplex — the incredible AI system that allows Google Assistant to make real world calls on users’ behalf for things like restaurant reservations — will be available starting next month on a city-by-city basis for Google Pixel users, with Wired reporting that the service is planned to hit New York, Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Francisco by the end of this year.
First announced at Google I/O earlier this year, Duplex uses an incredibly, almost uncannily natural-sounding human voice, complete with with “umms” and “ahhs,” to intelligently handle real-world tasks for you that Google Assistant otherwise couldn’t manage through the internet.
Duplex will only call restaurants that don’t already take online reservations to start
Back at I/O, Google said that it was working on testing Duplex over the summer in three specific areas: calls about holiday hours, restaurant reservations, and hair cut appointments, but according to Wired’s report, Duplex will only call restaurants that don’t already take online reservations to start. Additionally, Wired notes that Google now has a policy that Duplex will always reveal that it’s not actually a real person when calling, which should help assuage concerns over the bot’s potentially deceptive nature.
But there’s still a lot we don’t know about Duplex’s rollout, including which devices (will Google be enabling it for just the Pixel 3, or all Pixels?) or when it’s rolling out, but Google did promise that more details would be forthcoming, so hopefully it won’t be long before we know more.
Update October 9th, 12:43pm: Added additional details on what cities will get Duplex first and what kinds of calls Duplex will be capable of.