Google surprised everyone in 2018 by introducing Google Duplex, an automated service whereby a voice from Google interacted with businesses and customers to make reservations and other activities in a surprisingly natural way. However, its deployment has been more limited but without notice, Google Duplex has arrived in Spain and already speaks Spanish.
Google Duplex is an artificial intelligence of the company that seeks to automate some tasks for the user which should normally be done by phone call. For example, booking a table in a restaurant that does not have a reservation system on-line. In such a case the user chooses when they would like the reservation and it is Google Duplex who calls the restaurant in the background and tries to make the reservation.
This, however, was the purpose and initial demo of Google Duplex on Google I / O. Its implementation is slower and only in the United States is it currently making reservations. It also clearly indicates before continuing that it is an automated voice so that whoever is on the other side of the line knows it. The pilot program was extended to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Now make the leap to a non-English speaking country too, specifically to Spain and to speak in Spanish.
What exactly Google Duplex does in Spain
Will you book Google Duplex for us in a restaurant? Not precisely. The deployment of Google Duplex in Spain occurs in part as a consequence of COVID-19. The current confinement situation has caused numerous businesses to close temporarily. Right now on Google Maps appears information about the establishments if they are closed, this information is either provided by the business owner or Google finds out.
If it is the case that Google has to find out, this is where Google Duplex comes into action. Google is using Google Duplex to confirm establishment hours during confinement. In other words, call the establishments on Google Maps and ask them about their hours during confinement.
In an article on the official Google blog, they explained it on March 15, although without making any mention of Spain:
“We are also using our Duplex artificial intelligence (AI) technology whenever possible to contact companies to confirm their updated business hours so that we can accurately reflect them when people search Search and Maps.”
Google Spain has confirmed to EuroXlivethe use of Google Duplex in Spain to confirm establishment hours.
Now there is the doubt of when and how Google Duplex will expand in Spanish to interact directly with users as well. That is, when will users in Spain be able to use Google Duplex to make specific requests to establishments. To confirm schedules Google Duplex probably does not require a vocabulary as high as for other requests since it is only one request and always the same.
The interesting thing about Google Duplex is its most natural language that can pass through the voice of a human without any problem. To do this, he uses pauses and expressions of doubt such as “uhm …” or “ah …”, which make the conversation more natural. In any case, before starting the conversation, it is clear that it is an automated call that is being recorded if the owner of the establishment indicates that he does not want to be recorded or something like that, the call is passed to a human operator.