Google Duplex trains to make calls in Spanish, and Spanish debuts.
The Spanish-speaking version of Google’s AI chat algorithm, which launches today in Spain, can call businesses to inquire about store hours during the pandemic.
Google Duplex, the AI chat algorithm that can call businesses on your behalf, is releasing a Spanish-speaking edition in Spain Thursday, Google tells CNET. The service will be used in Spain to ask about store hours during the current COVID-19 pandemic, initially introduced as a way for the Google Assistant to call restaurants and to book reservations on your behalf.
“Specifically for checking store hours only during the health situation we rolled out Duplex in Spain,” a Google spokesperson said. “This time, this does not involve making restaurant bookings or any other Duplex use cases.”
For Duplex it was a fairly quiet year after the initial launch announcement left some shaken by the eerie ability of the algorithm to imitate patterns, pauses and mannerisms of human speech. Since then, Google has worked to make the service a little less disturbing, with a pledge that it will always announce the fact that it is not a real person to whomver it talks. The company also launched Duplex for Internet, promising to help users speed through items like booking an online car rental.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, wrote a blog post last month describing how Google used Duplex to contact companies and ask about their hours as part of an attempt to keep Google’s listings correct during the pandemic.
The Spain release follows a recent debut of Duplex in the UK, Canada and Australia. Google has little to say about whether there are any other regions up next.
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