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Google Assistant uses ‘Duplex on the Web’ to buy your movie tickets

Google is expanding the capabilities of Assistant with the help of its Duplex feature.
Igor Bonifacic, @igorbonifacic
November 21, 2019
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Since last year, you've been able to purchase movie tickets using your voice with Google Assistant and Fandango. Today, Google is enhancing that capability to make it more versatile.

If you own an Android phone, simply tell the digital helper that you want seats to a specific movie or search for showtimes using the Google app. Assistant will then take care of working through any website, which makes it handy for ones that aren't optimized for mobile. It's also able to automatically input any information you may need to complete a purchase. That includes any payment details, as long as they're saved to Chrome.

As mentioned above, Assistant has been able to purchase movie tickets on your behalf since last year. What's new is that Assistant now uses Duplex, Google's AI reservation feature, to make things happen. Using a technology called Duplex on the Web, Assistant can navigate websites on its own. This effectively allows you to purchase movie tickets from almost any service that offers them. According to Google, the new Duplex feature works with more than 70 cinemas and movie ticketing services across the US and UK. Previously, Assistant only worked with Fandango.

Allowing you to buy movie tickets is just one of the use cases Google imagines for the technology. Like it showed off at its I/O developer conference earlier this year, you'll also be able to use Duplex to book car rentals and more. The rollout of this feature is currently limited to the US and UK.

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