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This article was published on May 8, 2018

Google Assistant now schedules your appointments with a phone call

Google Assistant now schedules your appointments with a phone call
Tristan Greene
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Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him

The first “OMG” moment of IO: Google Assistant can call businesses on your behalf to schedule appointments for you. It’s called “Duplex” and it’s astoundingly realistic.

60 percent of businesses don’t have online booking setup, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, which means Google Assistant can’t book most appointments online. With the Duplex feature, it’ll be able to make phonecalls in the background and have a real-time conversation with whoever answers the phone.

Google Assistant will actually call a business and schedule an appointment for you. We listened to a conversation between Google Assistant and a worker at a hair salon and it sounded pretty amazing. It was intuitive, and it’s unclear whether the human in this equation was actually aware they were talking to a computer. It was impressive, real-time, and Google Assistant’s responses (the crowd laughed when the Assistant responded “mm-hmm” when the salon worker asked it to hang on a moment.

There’s no set date for the update yet, but it should roll out later this year.

Take that, Turing test.

Check out our event page for more Google I/O stories this week, or follow our reporters on the ground until the event wraps on Thursday: @bryanclark and @mrgreene1977.

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