When we first heard about Google Duplex, we thought of all the ways that it could reduce the amount of time that we would need to spend on the phone no longer would we need to worry about calling to make reservations at restaurants, chatting with customer service, or otherwise taking care of annoying, phone-based tasks.
However, the same powerful technology has a flip side for some, as it now appears capable to take away the jobs of telemarketing professionals and call-center operators. Google may be on its way to use its human-sounding assistant for handling customer calls. During a developer conference in May, CEO Sundar Pichai held a demonstration showing how Duplex could make a reservation at a salon or a hotel without the person on the other side suspecting that they were communicating with an AI system.
Google is reported to have at least one potential customer, a large insurance company, which wishes to use Google Duplex in its call-center operations. It aims to use Duplex to handle repetitive customer queries, and human operators will step in for any complex queries. The company is conducting early-stage testing, though it remains unclear how long will it take for the project to go live.