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No, Duplex AI is not planning to take away jobs from humans in call centers – Google assures

by Milicent Atieno
google duplex

We recently reported that an unnamed insurance company was working with Google to have its new AI, Google Duplex, handles customers services calls at its call center. Obviously, such a move will be detrimental to the human employees working as customer service at call centers; and by extension threaten the jobs of telemarketers.

Well, Google has come out publicly to deny that Duplex is after anyone’s jobs. The search engine categorically states that Google Duplex technology is designed to work for people, not take away their jobs.

The company says the main purpose to use the AI is to have the user (end consumers) call up businesses on their behalf. Say, call up a saloon and make a booking for a haircut, or call a restaurant and book for a table. The AI will do all those annoying calls that would likely put you on hold before you get a customer service on the other end.

In a statement to CNET, a spokesperson from Google said:

We’re currently focused on consumer use cases for 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.”

The spokesperson further went ahead to say the said insurance company has slowed down on the project in integrate Duplex into its call centers citing ethical concerns. Apparently, the idea of customers calling only to be received by a robot on the other end does not give the company that ‘human-touch’ to addressing their customers’ queries. Nonetheless, no one doubts that it will be good for business for both Google and the corporate world; though it will put a lot of human capital out in the cold.

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