Remember Google Duplex? It was the scary good AI-bot that could call restaurants or hair salons to make reservations and appointments on your behalf. Well, it’s now rolling out to a small number of Pixel users in select cities in the US.
According to a statement given to Venture Beat, the feature has begun rolling out to users
a “small group” of Google Pixel phone owners, who can now use Duplex via the Google Assistant to secure restaurant reservations in “select cities.”
Unlike the demo at Google IO earlier this year, the initial rollout of Duplex is only working with restaurants at this stage to book you a reservation. The feature is kicked off by saying ‘Hey Google, make a restaurant reservation’ or ‘Ok Google, reserve a table’. The Google Assistant will then go through a list of clarifying questions narrowing down the type of restaurant, how many people etc. You can conversely just name the restaurant you want to book at to short-circuit the process.
The feature is being limited to a certain set of restaurants, for some reason, though it’s limited to only English-speaking calls in select cities – so draw your own conclusions.
Once a booking is made you can see it show up under ‘My Reservations’ in Google Assistant, which also shows you any other details for events or places you’ve booked pulled from your calendar, or even your Gmail.
Google is limiting this to select cities in the US, so you can imagine it’s going to be some time before becoming available in Australia – or any other countries in the world. It’s interesting to watch its progress though and you can see it in action here.