Ever since the late Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, organizers of major technology conferences have been making sure that their events feature at least one “wow moment” to dazzle attendees. At the 2018 Google I/O Conference, that moment involved introducing the Duplex artificial intelligence system, which can be described as the Google Assistant on steroids. The first demonstration of Duplex consisted of a virtual assistant placing a voice call to a restaurant for the purpose of making reservations; the “wow moment” was delivered by the system’s eerily human-sounding voice, which is powered by an advanced AI construct.
A year following its announcement, Google Duplex is available to users in 43 states, mostly for making restaurant reservations. Google AI engineers and developers believe that Duplex should be able to handle more sophisticated tasks in a few years, and Voice over Internet Protocol is the underlying technology that will make it happen.
Now that Google Duplex is getting traction through the work of AI developers and linguists, the company is working on the receiving end of the project. The Google CallJoy project is essentially a very smart auto attendant that can greet callers, field questions, provide information, and effectively route their calls to the right agent. Instead of throwing callers into a phone tree menu of limited options such as “press one to be transferred,” CallJoy’s human-like voice will steer the conversation towards a business goal. A text transcript of calls is saved for the benefit of business owners and managers who wish to search for keywords or review conversations.