Google Duplex Now Makes Restaurant Reservations


Google has announced that its Google Assistant feature that uses technology to quickly book restaurant reservations over the phone will soon be available to iPhone users.

“We look forward to bringing this service to more people across the U.S. to make planning a night out just a bit easier. Over the next few weeks, we’ll start slowly bringing this feature to more Android and iOS devices, and will continue to incorporate feedback as we continue testing,” the company wrote in a blog post.

The company added that the technology can also now be used on all Pixel phones in 43 U.S. states.

In May, Google launched Google Duplex, a technology that can carry out tasks over the phone using natural conversations. Duplex utilizes a recurrent neural network that uses the output of Google’s automatic speech recognition technology, as well as features from the audio, the history of conversations and the parameter of the conversations, to understand natural language. In addition, the tech giant used other advanced technology to improve the ability to have the natural conversations.

“Businesses that rely on appointment bookings supported by Duplex, and are not yet powered by online systems, can benefit from Duplex by allowing customers to book through the Google Assistant without having to change any day-to-day practices or train employees,” Yaniv Leviathan, principal engineer, and Yossi Matias, vice president of engineering at Google, said at the time. “Using Duplex could also reduce no-shows to appointments by reminding customers about their upcoming appointments in a way that allows easy cancellation or rescheduling.”

For users, the engineers said Duplex makes life easier since consumers don’t have to make a phone call but can instead interact with Google Assistant. In addition, users can request communications with service providers off-hours, while the tech can address language barriers, as well as allow the hearing impaired to complete tasks over the phone.