Google announced yesterday in a Google My Business Help thread that they will start publicly testing the Google Assistant Duplex feature that allows Google AI to call a venue and make an appointment or reservation for you automatically. They demonstrated this at Google I/O back in May and now Google is warning restaurants in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area about this.
Google said that they will start testing this next month and there is nothing you need to do to make this work. You may get phone calls from the Google Assistant and if so, just talk to it like you would talk to a person. If it fails, I guess, blame the machine.
Allyson Wright, Community Manager, Google My Business wrote:
At our annual conference Google I/O, we showed a preview of a new feature in the Google Assistant powered by Google Duplex technology – which makes it easier for people to find information and get things done — and it’s also helping businesses connect to potential customers.
Later this month, we’ll expand public testing of this new feature with Google Pixel users at restaurants in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area! Our goal in testing this new capability within the Google Assistant is to provide another great resource (especially if you have a limited online presence) to help you reach a broader set of consumers, by making it easier for them to connect to your business.
There’s no learning curve for you and no extra step to get set up. You can keep operating your restaurant as you always have while also taking advantage of booking through the Google Assistant. And if you’re currently working with one of our online booking partners , you won’t receive calls from the Assistant for reservations.
As we develop new technologies, we believe it’s critical that we’re responsible in our approach and are thinking through the impact on people and businesses. You’ll be given full transparency and contro – so you’ll always know it is the Google Assistant calling you. And you can easily opt-out from receiving calls over the phone by telling the Google Assistant or going to the settings in your Google My Business account.
It’s important that we get the experience right both for people and for your business, and we’re taking a slow and measured approach as we incorporate learnings and feedback from our tests.
Here is how it works:
We live in crazy times!
Forum discussion at Google My Business Help.