This is truly mind-blowing sci-fi stuff.

If you haven’t heard Google Duplex yet, get ready to be impressed.  Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, wowed the crowd at I/O 2018 when he played back recordings of phone calls made by Google Assistant to book restaurant reservations and make hair appointments.

You tell Google to get you a hair appointment and it calls in the background to do it for you, books it, and then notifies you it’s done.  Sounds great, but that’s not the impressive part.  It’s the way it does it.  Listen to the conversation between the AI and the human.  It is so natural, including typical speech patterns, pauses, and umms.  In addition, when interrupted, it has the ability to go back and repeat information in a totally natural way.  Wow.

LISTEN:  Duplex calling for a dinner reservation

LISTEN:  Duplex calling for a hair appointment

“Google Duplex… a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. For such tasks, the system makes the conversational experience as natural as possible, allowing people to speak normally, like they would to another person, without having to adapt to a machine.” – Blog post from Yaniv Leviathan, Principal Engineer and Yossi Matias, Vice President, Engineering, Google

“It brings together all our investments over the years in natural language understanding, deep learning, text to speech,” Pichai said.