Google Duplex in Chrome: the experiment begins

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It has been called the most clever chatbot of all times, and – minus some speed-bumps – its development is running steady: after the restaurant booking manager (that, hearing from the States, still puzzles many field’s operators!), Google Duplex is now going to tackle Chrome, given the fact that the Mountain View team is experimenting the integration between this two Big G’s products.

What is Google Duplex?

Google Duplex is one of the most innovative Google’s projects, now available to most part of the United States (48 on 50, basically everyone but Kentucky and Louisiana): we are talking about an evolved A.I. system that allows specific kind of users to access operations such as a restaurant’s booking or a call completely managed by the bot. It will not be the user, then, to talk to the restaurant employee, but Google Duplex directly with the help of Google Assistant, using an A.I. based human sounding voice.

Google Duplex has been announced for the first time by company CEO Sundar Pichai throughout the Google I/O developers’s conference in May 2018, and in the following months the experiment began: in November 2018, the corporation announced that Duplex had been launched for a selected number of  public users in some United States cities, right after the fix of some security issues.

For instance, compared to early tests, the A.I. identifies itself as “Google” when someone answers the phone and warns the addressee that the call is being recorded (leaving to him the decision to transfer on a unrecorded line).

Limits and doubts on the system

A nearly sci-fi tool, that attracted almost immediately some controversies and critiques, both on privacy and security. Many other doubts on Duplex are rising in the United States: The Verge, for instance, recounts that the restaurant managers are still confused and baffled when the A.I. calls, also because they don’t always succeed to identify the caller and link it to Google.

The New York Times has tested Google Duplex in some local restaurants, instead, with mixed results; in particular, a statement made by the company reveals that some of the calls are managed by classic call centers (so, human beings basically). To be clear, about 25% of Duplex callings is managed by a real person and in about 15% of the calls made by the automated system needed a human intervention at some point.

Which devices supports Google Duplex

The system has initially been made available to every Pixel line Google smartphone’s owner, while recently the support has been extended to every Android device with 5.0 or later versions and on those Apple’s Iphones with installed Google Assistant.

Google Duplex’s new developments

Everybody was talking about the most clever virtual assistant even at Google I/O 2019, when the California company announced the will to expand its features, as far as it will one day help people to automatically fill forms and paperworks online, rent a car or buy tickets to the cinema.

The features’ testing begins

Let’s talk about fresh news: in the past few days, the american magazine Android Police revealed that the integration between Google Duplex and Chrome browser is currently being tested, with an experiment that precisely applies to the cinema tickets’ booking process, taking advantage on Google Assistant’s features.

In the following video, published by Android Police via Gfycat, is clearly shown the booking and subsequently buying process of the ticket:

Basically, the interaction begins when the movies’ timetables are shown: right after you have selected your favourite one, you can choose your booking website (in the United States it works in movie theaters’ big chains and websites owned by AMC and Fandango), click on “ticket purchase” and launch a Google Assistant’s prompt that proceeds to buy it, allowing you to choose ticket number and favourite spots without leaving Google’s search page.

Even the payment is processed through Assistant and most of the form’s fields are automatically filled with personal info and preferences previously saved by Google.

Why is Google Duplex’s development interesting?

This news intrigues us, and rightfully so: first of all, from a social point of view it tells us about the evolution of the A.I. and machine learning system applied to everyday life, that should translate into simplification for most of the daily repetitive activities that could make us waste precious time.

From a digital marketing perspective, we really need to highlight the attention that Google is dedicating to Assistant, where there already is an ongoing testing of a new ADS system; other than that, though, it seems that the company saw the transactions’ management as a pivotal asset for the virtual assistant’s monetization strategy.

The purchase of movie tickets, the car renting and all other operations that need payment, infact, are channels through wich more and more people will interact with the Assistant and, so, will necessarily use the Google’s ecosystem products, leading to more and more earning opportunities for Big G. Moreover, maybe is quite fair to assume even more Duplex’s reachings on eCommerce related fields, simplifying online purchases on Assistant qualified devices and laying Google on an even higher step in the retail trade.

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