Google recently unveiled their new virtual assistant; a lifelike artificial intelligence (AI) that sounds nothing like the automated phone systems.

This feature was introduced by Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai as part of the Google Duplex at Google’s I/O 2018.

It allows the “Assistant” to make phone calls.

For instance, to schedule appointments and to interact with the person on the other end of the call as if it were human.

Pichai went ahead to demonstrate this through a recording of the Google Assistant making a phone call.

The first call is made was to book a haircut appointment for May 3rd between 10 and noon.

The AI used a female computer-generated voice and even “Mm-hmm’s” which generated lots of laughs from the audience.

After booking the appointment, it sent a notification to confirm that the appointment has been taken care of.

With the second call, the AI used a male sounding voice to reserve a table at a restaurant for Wednesday the 7th.

Though the call didn’t quite go as planned, the AI wasn’t flustered answering with an “erm” at one point and ending with a “Oh, I gotcha”.

Pichai explained that the Google Duplex was a result of years of investment and hard work; incorporating natural language understanding, deep learning and texture speech to help the AI understand the nuances of conversation.

Google’s vision for the assistant is to help users get things done and to connect users and businesses in a big way.

Report by: Clara Doku