Announced at I/O 2018 to some controversy, Google Duplex is launching next month as an initially Pixel 3-exclusive and still “experimental” feature. Meanwhile, a new Call Screen feature allows the Pixel 3 to “screen” unwanted calls.
Google Duplex is launching next month on a city-by-city basis, allowing users to make reservations through Assistant. Instead of having to make a phone call to restaurants that don’t have an online reservation system, Google Assistant can make the call for users and accomplish real-world tasks.
You just have to provide pertinent details like number of diners and proffered times. Google will then work to lock down those features, and provide users with a confirmation. It is launching starting next month as an experimental feature, with the Pixel 3 as one of the first devices to leverage it.
This feature will initially be available later this year in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix and the San Francisco Bay Area to help people book restaurant reservations and will roll out to other U.S. cities in the future.
Meanwhile, with Call Screen, the Google Phone app can show a live transcription of an incoming call. Featuring Assistant branding, this allows users to screen and reject unwanted conversations.
Tapping the new “Screen call” button will have Assistant note to the caller that Google is replying on your behalf. It will ask the person on the other end to state their purpose, with the Pixel 3 able to ask various questions and then take confirmed user-confirmed actions. Users can follow along with a real-time transcription and updating suggestions.
Screen call will work to find out why you’re being contacted, and if it’s a telemarketer, direct them to remove your number. This feature uses on-device machine learning for privacy, with minimal power consumption and call transcription improving over time.