At the last Google I/O, the search engine giant introduced to the world its Google Duplex, an artificial intelligence digital assistant that speaks like a human.
Google even went ahead to show how the average person could use the AI assistant for everyday tasks like making reservations among other things. However, it appeared the company was holding off a special card under the table.
It now comes to light, that Google has been working silently (but not secretly) to make Google Duplex smart enough to take over call center and telemarketing functions. Google is working to find various application its smart AI-powered digital assistant with the ability to make conversations like a human find other application for day-to-day tasks.
Google is reported to have sold the idea of Google Duplex being on the other side of the line to answer questions from customers for companies. Though the name of the company Google has approached is yet to be confirmed, it is believed that the company is already working on integrating Google Duplex into its operations.
Speculations around the internet seem to suggest that the said company could be a large insurance firm, which is looking to have Google Duplex answer simple and straightforward questions on the customer service calls.
A spokesperson from Google told Gizmodo:
“We’re currently focused on consumer use cases for the Duplex technology where we can help people get things done, rather than applying it to potential enterprise use cases. We aren’t testing Duplex with any enterprise clients. Duplex is designed to operate in very specific use cases, and currently, we’re focused on testing with restaurant reservations, hair salon booking, and holiday hours with a limited set of trusted testers. It’s important that we get the experience right, and we’re taking a slow and measured approach as we incorporate learnings and feedback from our tests.”
At the end of the day, if Google were to find its way into handling automated phone calls for companies, there is no doubt, it will have landed a ‘cash-cow’ business. According to the research firm – ResearchAndMarkets – the cloud-based customer call center industry is poised to reach $21 billion by the year 2022; it stood at $6.8 billion last year.
Of course, we don’t expect Google to be the main player in this space, especially if the technology develops to such an advanced level that their automated phone calls services goes smoothly. Other players – including big tech and arch rivals like Apple, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, and even Amazon – could venture into that field as well.
While as the big tech companies will be raking in high revenues, with companies cutting down on the cost of operations while improving customer service. The technology’s biggest casualty will be the thousands working as customer service and telemarketers who will be left jobless.