Google’s AI-powered bot Duplex has left contact center operators deeply worried, with reports predicting that the computer-generated voice assistant may one day replace call center workers across the globe.
As of now, the AI assistant can only call up a restaurant or a hair salon to set an appointment for you. However, analysts predict it is a potential threat to the future of the customer services industry.
Web portal The Information has reported that Google is already in talks with customers, including a major insurance firm, about creating call center versions of the system.
“Some big companies are in the very early stages of testing Google’s technology for use in other applications, such as call centers, where it might be able to replace some of the work currently done by humans, according to a person familiar with the plans,” the publication reported.
Google has denied the report, saying that it is not testing the bot with any enterprise client and that its product will not automate call centers.
However, some of the bot’s features are bound to cause concern in the sector. Duplex sounds very much human, can understand complex sentences spoken naturally, and respond with a human-sounding voice, complete with “ums” and “ahs.”
Google has both the human resources and the financial muscle to carry out extensive research in artificial intelligence, but the search engine giant has promised that it would not develop any AI tool that is destructive and not socially beneficial.