Google Duplex AI Assistant ready to replace call centers

Ruben Fields
July 9, 2018

A new report from The Information claims that some large companies are in the very early stages of testing Googles natural language voice assistant, Duplex, to be used in corporate applications such as in call centers to answer customer service questions.

Some big worldwide companies are already in the early stages of testing the Google Duplex AI technology.

A report from The Information suggests Google may be making a play to find other applications for its human-sounding assistant and has already started experimenting with ways to use Duplex to do with away roles now filled by humans - a move that could have ramifications for millions of people.

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. On a similar note, we wonder if Google Duplex would be able to understand when a customer is calling with a bad attitude and respond with an appropriate amount of sass.

A report this weekend from The Information says Google is already in talks with at least one client - a large insurance company, apparently - about letting Google Duplex and the Google Assistant handle calls to and from customers.

With thousands of call centers moved out to the likes of India, but a pressure from many users to bring them back, the prize of a fully working Duplex layer before they speak to a human being, could placate the traditionalists and at the same time reduce the queues, another bugbear of the "you can't have it all ways" camp.

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We're now focused on consumer use cases for the Duplex technology and we aren't testing Duplex with any enterprise clients. What wasn't touched on was the possibility that Duplex may have a use on the other side of the line, taking over for call centre employees and telemarketers.

Amazon offers a similar service, opening Alexa's underlying technology to enterprise customers previous year. The bots would handle the simple calls with humans ready to step in when needed.

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 US and the operators can sometimes be hard to understand.

However, Google has come under fire over Duplex's ethical implications.

Of course, as the market expands, so will the competition, and Google isn't the only major tech firm that sees opportunity in entering call centres.

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