Today Google announced Google Duplex, an AI assistant feature that takes automated scheduling one step further: it will call up the third party in question and have an actual conversation with them to achieve whatever objective you give it.
In the recorded examples played onstage at the Google I/O developer conference, the assistant managed to have a successful conversation to schedule a haircut appointment, and a somewhat more roundabout but still productive one to make a restaurant reservation. The voice the assistant uses doesn’t even sound like a robot; its voice lilts and it pauses and says “um” as if it doesn’t already know exactly what it wants.
Listen to the entire Future section at The Outline give their reactions to the announcements at Google I/O 2018.
At The Outline, we see a bright future for technology, so we ask, why stop there? Some other uses we can imagine for Google Duplex:
- Hey Google: Give my child “The Talk”
- Hey Google: Tell Marcus he’s the father
- Hey Google: Tell my landlord I’ll send the rent uhhh next week
- Hey Google: Tell my friend his improv show was so great and back-schedule an appointment for which I had to l leave early
- Hey Google: Tell my boss I’m going to miss the meeting
- Hey Google: Send this steak back and ask for medium RARE
- Hey Google: Ask my boyfriend if he's cheating on me
- Hey Google: Break up with my boyfriend
- Hey Google: Tell the movie theater texter to cut it out
- Hey Google: Ask UPS why the delivery guy never actually rings the doorbell
- Hey Google: Interrogate Mark Zuckerberg
- Hey Google: Convert my brother the Trump supporter
- Hey Google: Call the police about my neighbor’s loud music
Silicon Valley has somewhat famously gone to a lot of trouble to solve problems that no one has except grown little boys who miss their mommies. Just imagine the future where we not only have these services, but there is also a service to deal with the services going awry:
- Hey Google: Call Freshdirect and tell them my bananas were too brown
- Hey Google: Tell Seamless my chicken curry was cold
- Hey Google: My delivery laundry is missing a sock
- Hey Google: My smart zipper didn’t tell me my fly was down
Onstage, Sundar Pichai mentioned that for every success, there were a handful of wild and confusing failures. “We’re still developing this technology,” Pichai he said. Sundar, PLEASE hurry up; my Postmates dinner is five minutes late.