As spotted by The Verge, Google New Zealand has published a blog post announcing a pilot of the Duplex program in the country. The pilot will use Duplex to place AI calls to local businesses and inquire about their opening hours for the upcoming Labour Day holiday on October 28th. This information will then be updated on Google Maps and Search.
If businesses don't want to interact with Duplex they can opt out of the pilot in the My Business settings. Google also promises that the AI callers will disclose that they are part of an automated system when they place a call.
While kinks in the phone conversation system are still being worked out, a very limited international pilot program makes sense. Currently, around 25 percent of Duplex calls are actually made by a human, so it could be a while before the AI is ready to manage a full reservation system on its own.