What is Google Duplex hype all about?
Last week, Google surprised the world with its new futuristic and lifelike AI experience, Google Duplex. An artificial intelligence system that can talk & sound like humans is a beast to reckon with!
Duplex is an AI system that can hold conversations, book appointments, accept your call commands & converse in human-like tone to make your life much easier. Once you provide a voice command to it, Duplex will make appropriate calls in the background, talk exactly like you would, and get back to you with the results. Check out some examples here.
You must have used “OK Google,” right? The way it has made to use a mobile phone with just voice commands is commendable! Duplex is one level above. It not only receives commands but can also execute them in the most natural and human way using Natural Language Processing (NLP) & Audio Processing.
The brain behind Google Duplex
Google Duplex technology is built to sound natural. Natural languages are very complex for a robot to imitate. When people talk to each other, the pace of the speech keeps changing; often emotions like “oh”, “wow” are included. Some sentences in a natural conversation could have more than one meaning too. This leads to harder speech recognition and confused meanings for AI. Google Duplex is built to cope with these challenges.
Duplex, the word in itself, means allowing the transmission of two signals simultaneously in opposite directions. The core of the system is a recurrent neural network built using TensorFlow Extended. To make the call sound more human, a combination of text-to-speech engine and a synthesis TTS engine is used. This helps control the pace of speech and makes it sound natural. To give it a more human feel, speech disfluencies like “umm” or “hmm” are also added to TTS (text to speech).
Duplex for business and users
Google Duplex is beneficial in many forms to businesses as well as for individual users.
It helps the users to make the supported tasks easier. For example, while you’re driving and need to take an appointment urgently, you can simply command your Google Assistant, which in turn will make an automated call and set an appointment for you.
Also, for people with hearing or speech disabilities, Duplex comes as a boon. They can easily command Duplex to take appointments and everything else will be taken by Google.
Businesses that rely majorly on appointment bookings, can depend on Duplex too. It will make their work more organized and easy. For example, Sundar Pichai in the conference talked about restaurants, of which many times the opening hours are not mentioned correctly. In such cases, people have to call the restaurants to confirm. Google Duplex can be set to call all these restaurants and add this information to Google directly, making it easy for all.
With such great advantages attached to Duplex, it comes with certain disadvantages as well. Technically, with a country like India that has 22 official languages and 1652 dialects, we are unsure about how Google will cross this hurdle here. Apart from language barriers that Google has been facing for a long time now, Duplex may also lead to loss of human connection. From a business point of view, sales might be tougher to come by if a robot is the point of contact in place of a human.
What we think
Duplex looks both scary and self-assuring. It may become the reason of loss of social essence but it will also be like a giant leap into the development of future. We are all excited to see how Duplex is used by early adopters and how it evolves.
We also want to have your insights about Google Duplex, Share it in comments.