During Google I/O today, the company announced that Assistant will soon be able to make appointments and reservations for you even when they can't be booked online. It's powered by a new technology called Google Duplex and it will be rolling out as an experiment soon.
In a demonstration, Google showed how the Assistant can call a hair salon and book an appointment with the person on the other end of the line. With a command from the user about when she wanted to make the appointment, the Assistant then called the salon, worked out a date and time and notified the user afterwards. The Assistant was even able to say "Mm-hmm" when she was asked by the salon employee to hold on. In a second demonstration, the Assistant was able to handle multiple complicated questions while booking a restaurant reservation without being tripped up, and even asked for wait times.
Google described the Duplex AI system as "a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out 'real world' tasks over the phone." And it's geared toward performing very specific tasks, like booking 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," said Google. You can listen to it in action here.
Google is still working on refining the system, but it should begin testing the capability in the coming weeks.
Click here to catch up on the latest news from Google I/O 2018!