Friday, 16 November, 2018

Google Duplex Assistant could replace call centers, report says

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Cecil Davis | 07 July, 2018, 13:44

Google is "currently focused on consumer use cases" and categorically notes that it's not "testing Duplex with any enterprise clients". Now comes a report from The Information, which says call centers are another focus beyond businesses using it to make simple appointments, reservations and the like.

"Some big companies are in the very early stages of testing Google's technology for use in other applications, such as call centers, where it might be able to replace some of the work now done by humans".

This report comes during a time when the cloud-based customer call-center industry is increasingly growing one that raked in $6.8 billion a year ago with no signs of slowing down.

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So far, the sort of demos Google has given for its system's operation have Duplex standing in for the customer, while it dials out to connect with live humans representing businesses. Now, Google is looking to partner with companies that want to use its human-sounding Duplex AI for tasks such as fielding customer service calls or telemarketing, according to a report by The Information. Duplex is created to operate in very specific use cases, and now we're focused on testing with restaurant reservations, hair salon booking, and holiday hours with a limited set of trusted testers.

Watch out call center employees, competition is on the way! In this example, the company's lead in natural language processing allows it to understand a wider range of user responses for a longer period before handing off to a human. An anonymous source that claims to be close with Google's plans says that the company is already in talks with at least one firm that would like to use Duplex for "simple, straightforward customer service calls".

Google Duplex may have a solution to that problem by making the automated interactions less robotic and more life-like. A new report from The Information states that the company is aiming for the technology to make its way to call centers as well. Backlash eventually made Google promise that Duplex will tell people they are speaking with AI, but the company still has a way to go to ease everyone's worries. The primary critique is that even in a call center setting customers would be unaware they are talking to a machine and feel subsequently deceived.