Google’s AI goes cold calling

In the locked down UK, Google are using it’s AI phone assistant Duplex to ring round businesses to find out what their opening hours are in these Covid-19 days.

Duplex sounds very real to the odd business out there which still pick up but I guess anyone manning the phones would be glad of a call right now, even from a robotic AI algo. I understand the algo lets rip a few “mmm’s” and “uh-huh’s” but the developers failed to give it a hacking cough for fear of frightening the punters.

It’s understood that Duplex can make restaurant reservations for customers based in New Zealand or the US (I bet it couldn’t now) but the Iconoclast in me wonders how you could compare NZ with the US? I suppose they both have iconic birds, NZ the flightless Kiwi and the US the soaring eagle!

I doubt Duplex will stop at just ringing restaurants and businesses though, maybe it will go rogue and ring YOU when you’re self isolating? How would you respond? Maybe delegate the conversation to Google’s Home Assistant via the smartspeaker and snuggle back down under the duvet.

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