The Google Assistant That Changed the World is Coming to iPhone
by Samra Anees and Jim Lundy
Last year at Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference, Google demo’d a digital assistant that sounds just like a human. Recently, Google announced via a blog post that this digital assistant, Google Duplex, is coming to the iPhone.
What is Google Duplex ?
Although many first-generation assistants exist from other companies (Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft), Google Duplex is the first that can navigate seamlessly through human conversations and is indistinguishable from a human by its voice. It can converse back and forth with restaurants, hair salons, etc. to make reservations and book appointments—all while sounding just like a human.
Google Duplex: The Most Human-Sounding AI to Date
Google Duplex is sophisticated enough to schedule tasks, have conversations, and accomplish real-world tasks, making it a true digital assistant and the first of its kind; current AI assistants that exist from other companies don’t compare to the natural sounding speech and ability to work through challenges that Google has created with Duplex. Duplex has a recurrent neural network (RNN) at its core and was built with TensorFlow Extended (TFX).
People who own the Google Pixel already have access to Google Duplex, but Google Assistant Vice President Scott Huffman said they will begin rolling it out to Android and iOS devices in the next few weeks (the Google Support page indicates that Android and Apple IOS devices are now supported).
Google Duplex is Now Part of Google Assistant
Google Duplex has been integrated into the Google Assistant. It can make calls on behalf of the user (you) and book a reservation at a restaurant. It is limited to certain business categories at launch.
Google is Not Making Duplex Available to Partners
So far, the Google Duplex rollout appears to be limited to the Google Assistant. There is no sign that Duplex is being integrated into Dialogflow, its conversational AI bot development platform. This initial rollout should serve as a solid beat and the feedback will be incorporated back into the product.
Challenging Amazon, Apple, IBM, and Microsoft
Google Duplex is leading the race among digital assistants. While other companies have AI that can talk, they don’t mimic natural human speech or have the ability to accomplish tasks as effectively as Duplex. With the Duplex integration into Google Assistant, Google just put Amazon (Alexa), Apple (Siri), IBM (Watson) and Microsoft (Cortana) on notice.
Google has moved quickly since its original Google Duplex demo last year at Google I/O. This speed to market is impressive and could mark a turning point for Google if it can also make Duplex available to enterprises for their own use. Developing.