"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".
Google already has a customer, a large insurance company, looking at how it can use Duplex to improve call handling by giving the common but simple queries to Duplex, leaving the humans free to file their nails, giggle and hang up on you.
According to a report from The Information, Google may be considering licensing Duplex to call centers and telemarketers. Of course, if Duplex also ends up answering calls on behalf of its users, then the AI system may end up only talking to itself.
Google emphasized that it is "taking a slow and measured approach" with Duplex - likely due to the initial backlash - and reiterated the three limited domains that the company has so far announced. As we shared last week, 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. 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. A report from past year, again from The Information, claims that Amazon is planning to import the same natural language processing that powers Alexa into call centres. To no one's surprise, it looks like at least one major company is discussing the use of Duplex for customer service calls.
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Of course, this does not rule out a wider availability for Duplex in the future, especially as Amazon now offers Alexa for Business, while Google in the past has made other technologies available to Cloud customers.
Watch out call center employees, competition is on the way!
Google, to be sure, has already retooled the way Duplex interacts on calls just a bit since showing it off at I/O. The interested company remains unnamed, but it is reported to be a large insurance company. Suddenly the world was anxious that people in the future would not know whether they were talking to humans or machines. Testing, they note, is still in the early stages, and the system is several months from going live.