A year after Google surprised the audience with a realistically human-sounding AI that can book restaurant reservations and hair appointments, the company today announced that it will extend the service to web-based chats such as car rentals and movie bookings. In an example Google showed onstage, the Assistant can pull in travel information based on your existing reservations under your account. Once you ask the Assistant to help you book a car rental, it will begin to auto-fill the form using information it has, such as your name, address, and arrival and drop-off times.
Google first announced Duplex last year as a voice assistant that can make calls on your behalf to make a restaurant reservation. When you confirm a request, you’ll get an update from Google Assistant telling you whether it was successful at making the reservation. If it is unable to reach the business or cannot make the reservation, it will attempt to give you a reason (no availability, walk-ins only, reservations only accepted for parties of six or more, etc.). You do not get any other details about how the call went or what was said on the call.
Google did not say when the web version of Duplex was coming, calling the demo an “early preview,” but did promise that you can see every step of what Duplex is doing before you confirm the details.
“We’re going to be thoughtful and get feedback from users and businesses, and we’ll have more details later this year,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said.
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