Google’s introduced its AI-based Duplex reservation service at I/O 2018. The AI can make phone calls on your behalf to set up things like restaurant reservations and salon appointments. Duplex has since been rolled out to almost the entire country, however, it still require human intervention from time to time. Google has revealed that 25 percent of calls placed through Duplex are conducted by humans currently.
What that figure means is that in almost 15 percent of calls made by the AI, a human has to intervene at some point because the AI wouldn’t be able to handle it otherwise. The numbers are a result of a study conducted by the New York Times in collaboration with several restaurants and with Google.
The journalists used Duplex to place over a dozen bookings and only four were successfully made by the AI. Three of those bookings were actually made by a human and not the AI. The study also mentions that all of the AI calls are supervised by employees so that they can jump into the conversation at any time they feel it’s necessary.
This just goes to show that there’s room for improvement here and that Google is dedicated to further improving the AI that powers Duplex. It also shows that Duplex isn’t quite the fully automated service yet as the impression Google’s marketing materials may have given you.