Not too long ago, during Google I/O this year, Google showed Google Duplex to the public. Now, it has been a long-standing objective of computer technology with regard to human-computer interaction to make it possible for people to have a smooth and natural conversation with computers.
You could note that in recent years, there has been a tremendous development in the computer’s ability to understand and generate natural speech; however, even with today’s advanced technology, it can get quite frustrating when you converse with the computerized voices in your gadgets that simply don’t understand natural language.
Most systems and software are evidently struggling to comprehend simple words and instructions; they also don’t engage in a smooth conversation flow and compels people to adjust to the system rather than the other way around. There are also times when software, like a virtual assistant, for instance, hears something completely different from what was actually said, but all that is going to change because of Google Duplex.
Google Duplex: What it is Exactly
Google Duplex is a fully automated system that is capable of making calls on the user’s behalf, doing so with a natural-sounding human voice and using fillers, such as “um” and “uh”, rather than the typical robotic voice that we are much accustomed to. In addition, Google Duplex is also able to comprehend complex sentences, slangs, rapid speech, and long dialogues.
Because of all these characteristics, Google Duplex is the appropriate solution to the past struggles with human-computer interaction. By letting users have a natural conversation with computers, users don’t have to keep repeating their commands and will be assured that the computer understood everything that they have said.
Gone are the days where you adjust to the system; gone are the days where you shout at your phone just to get your message or command through; gone are the days where you keep repeating your command because the system keeps hearing differently. Now, users can speak like usual, just as they would if they were speaking to another human being, without fear of not being understood.
Google Duplex: What It Can Do for You
At present, Google Duplex can be used to complete three separate tasks: making reservations at restaurants, scheduling hair appointments, and getting businesses’ holiday operating hours.
Additionally, if the business establishment you are trying to book with accepts online reservations, Google Duplex will make use of that. If not, Google Duplex will call the business establishment on your behalf. All you have to do is instruct Google Assistant; for instance, saying “Call ABC restaurant and make a reservation for two people on Tuesday night at 6”, or something to that effect.
As soon as an appointment or a reservation is made, Google Duplex will immediately notify the user that arrangements have already been made.
It is, of course, a bit creepy to carry a conversation not knowing whether you’re talking to a computer or a genuine human being. Perhaps as an answer to that growing concern, Google later made an additional announcement that a call from Google Duplex would identify itself as such before starting a conversation.
Google Duplex: Potential and Practical Use
I think we’ve all experienced calling the telephone or cable company, for instance, and listening to an automated system telling us to “press 1 to talk to a customer service agent or press 2 for accounting”. Integrating Google Duplex into their systems would certainly cause serious improvement.
Another potential use of Google Duplex would be in government offices; people would no longer wait an hour or two just to get hold of a representative since they could ask the AI system directly about their concerns.
There is, without a doubt, still room for improvement left for Google Duplex, but it is clear that it is taking the right step in ensuring a significant improvement in man’s day-to-day interaction with computers.