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Google Duplex reaches Canada, UK and Australia

Duplex is now available in Australia, Canada and the UK. (Source: Google)
Duplex is now available in Australia, Canada and the UK. (Source: Google)
Google has continued its progressive global rollout of Duplex, its AI-powered automated phone booking service for Android smartphones. The latest countries to receive the functionality include Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Google Duplex is undoubtedly one of the coolest examples of AI-powered software technology available on mobile devices. Since it made a huge splash at Google I/O in 2018 during a live demo where it made a booking with a seemingly unsuspecting restaurant staff member, Android users have been keen to test out its functionality. Until now, the only countries that have had the feature rolled out are the United States and New Zealand.

Venture Beat has spotted that Google has now quietly rolled out Duplex to users in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia with support numbers added for the service on a Google website for business owners. This appears to be the fruit of Google’s recent efforts to use the Duplex service to directly contact businesses requesting the opening hours and interesting in being accessible by the service. The plus side of this is approach means that restaurants will be expecting calls from Duplex to take bookings.

When Google first unveiled the technology, it did cop some criticism as the original demo didn’t involved Duplex identifying itself to the person it was interacting with. With businesses opting in, that avoids that sort of controversy and should also help restaurants understand that Duplex still has limitations. If it can’t work, Google will hand off the call to live Google service rep who will make notes to improve the service in the future. It’s like having your own personal assistant, and has massive potential for making life easier.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-04-10 (Update: 2020-04-10)