Search engine and technology giant Google has announced that its new artificial intelligence software that will be able to conduct voice-based tasks on behalf of users, such as making phone calls to book appointments.
Sundar Pichair, chief executive at Google, announced that Google Duplex would be launching as an “experiment” over the next few weeks. The software was revealed at Google’s yearly IO developer’s conference in California, USA.
Technology experts have stated that if the software works the way Google says it will, it will give the company a big advantage over its two key voice assistant competitors, Amazon and Apple.
Demonstrations that were pre-recorded showed the software booking a haircut and securing dinner reservations by having a conversation with human employees. One of the example humorously showed Google assistant trying to talk to an employee who didn’t seem to understand simple questions, illustrating that the AI can be more reliable than human operators.
The synthesised voice used by the Google AI was reported to be much more natural and human sounding than previous incarnations. It also included slurs and utterances in human speech like “um” and “ah”, demonstrating a further sophistication.
During the demonstrations the AI didn’t reveal it was a machine to the human employees.
Mr Pichai said that if “done correctly” the software would “generate a lot of value” for businesses while saving time for customers.
He went on to say that the software would initially be tested by asking businesses about their holiday open hours and then using that information to update Google’s own listings.
Despite the excitement over the software, some experts have warned that there is a great deal of trust that has to be earned with people before they accept it.
Regardless, this technology has impressed many in the tech world who are undoubtedly waiting to see what the next move of Google’s competitors will be.