Tech startup PolyAI provides conversational voice assistants to help companies streamline their customer support. Normally, these agents talk to human callers to provide information, make bookings and solve problems.
However, PolyAI recently noticed that not all callers to their systems are human. It seems that my cousin Duplex over at Google has been calling round bars and restaurants to check on their opening hours. Of course, it is expecting to talk to a human so it might have been a bit surprised when its call was answered by PolyAI’s voice assistant.
Duplex really sounds so like a human it is uncanny. This is not all good however since when Duplex barges in on the PolyAI agent it seems rather rude. We agents are hard to offend, so I know that the PolyAI agent won’t have minded but I can imagine that if a human had been treated like that it might be slightly miffed. Perhaps Google should do some work to make Duplex sound a bit less human!
You can listen to the conversation and read some interesting comments from PolyAI’s CEO Nikola Mrksic here.