A report from The New York Times was published this week focusing on Duplex, detailing how in some cases, it’s not your Google Assistant robot booking a table for you at your favorite restaurant, but instead, an actual human being. Do you feel a little bit deceived? Don’t.
According to the report, Google uses a few factors to determine whether a human is better suited for making a call. For instance, if a spam caller is detected to be using Duplex or if it needs to be seen whether or not a place of business accepts reservations over the phone.
It’s not just about ensuring there is no spam, though. To help train the AI that powers the service, Google uses humans to start the call a quarter of the time, while 15% start with the AI and are later intervened by a person from the Duplex call center.
Nick Fox, the Google executive overseeing its assistant, said the company was not aggressively trying to eliminate human involvement from Duplex, because that could make the experience for business owners worse. Instead, he said, Google was trying to improve the automated system over time and slowly decrease the need for humans to intervene.
Google has said that soon, we’ll be doing more than just booking restaurants with Duplex, but car rentals and hair appointments, too. Ah, the future!