A quarter of Google Duplex calls are made by humans

Google’s remarkably human-like Duplex restaurant reservation service is one of the most impressive pieces of artificial intelligence ever created. But not all is as it seems.

Despite deeply impressive demonstrations of how the system, a part of the Google Assistant, can call up a restaurant and make a reservation on your behalf, it regularly relies on human help.

Speaking with The New York Times, Google confirmed that around 15% of all Duplex calls require human intervention at a manned call center to resolve. Part of this is down to the sheer volume of data that Duplex requires for Google to develop the AI needed for perfect machine-driven voice calls.

They also confirmed that a quarter of all calls made actually start with a human rather than a machine. Given the hype and advanced-AI claims surrounding the product, that seems a pretty high figure. Google did state that Duplex would have human monitoring of the entire system, poised to take over if any issues arose or calls went awry.

We are sure that this ‘help’ figure will begin to dip now that Google Duplex is now available for Android and iOS devices across the United States. Having extra users able to plug the system with more data will help the system develop and improve steadily over time although that applies to just the US market for now.

Google added that using the human callers helps generate large quantities of data, which is used to train and improve future versions of Duplex.

Google was reported to be in talks to incorporate Duplex into the call center industry, but the new report suggests workers don’t have to worry about their jobs just yet.

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