Turns out, Google Duplex, the automated AI assistant which sounds incredibly human, isn’t yet up to the challenge of scale…
In July of last year, Google debuted a new technology called Duplex. It sent shock waves through the industry because of its ability to perfectly mimic human sounding phone calls. In fact, it even paused and used “crutch words,” such as “uhm” and “ahh.”
Its prowess was so impressive, it immediately raised concerns about privacy, security, and spam, among other things.
25 Percent of Google Duplex Calls are Actually made by Humans
But now, we’re learning Google Duplex is not particularly ready for prime-time. The search giant admits 25 percent of all calls ostensibly made by Duplex actually start with humans. What’s more, only 15 percent initiate with the AI technology. Also, it’s a common practice for humans to intervene even after the software makes calls.
Duplex debuted during a demonstration in which it made a real-life call to a business to book a reservation. The call sounded so lifelike it was eerie to just about anyone who heard it.
But the protocol doesn’t work in this order. Instead, Duplex first tries to book arrangements online through services like OpenTable, Resy, and Yelp. If those are options aren’t available, it will then initiate a call.
Google states Duplex is still quite young, and requires humans to help facilitate calls and train the AI software.
Meanwhile, there are still other problems for Google to overcome. For instance, call recipients might not pick up because call IDs appear to look like potential spam. Duplex has also anecdotally made the same call twice, minutes apart, to place the same reservation.
Nevertheless, Google states it intends to expand Duplex from just restaurants to other businesses, like hair salons. However, software will need quite a bit more work before it’s truly ready to do its job right.