Google’s AI calling service has quietly made its way to the UK, Australia, and Canada. It originally launched the feature back in 2018, and it started to do pilot testing just a year later in 2019 in New Zealand. This time, the slow launch is to confirm businesses’ operating hours in these countries. The calling service enables Google Assistant to make a call, book car or vehicle on rent, or make table or movie reservations.
The latest news report by VentureBeat spotted that there are newly added phone numbers on the support page that Google talks about using when calling via Duplex from a distinct country. The updated list now includes the UK, Canada, and Australia in addition to the US and New Zealand.
Previously, there were concerns about the use of Duplex that the automated call was being handled by a digital voice assistant and not a human being. Making an effort to address the concerns, Google has given an option to opt-out of being recorded and speak with a human but got limited success. Now, Duplex has the human listeners who annotate the phone calls to improve the underlying machine learning algorithm. It will also disclose when the person is talking to the automated system, and they now have the choice to opt-out of receiving calls if they wish to.
The tech giant has taken into consideration the service expansion, starting from just Pixel phones to iOS and then Android devices. Duplex’s first expansion took place in New Zealand in 2019, with limited functionality.
The tech giant, Google, is still taking steps for including businesses’ status and working hours in search results. These efforts are made to ensure people don’t move out until the COVID-19 curve flattens.
Rollouts and development of Assistant on Google’s Duplex are likely to slow down as government mandates to shut the non-essential services.