Now, users can use Google Assistant on Pixel phones to book restaurant reservations in 43 states. Users will tell the Assistant when and where to book the reservation, and the device will call the restaurant. If the reservation is made successfully, the Assistant will automatically notify users via text and email as well as create a calendar invite.
Google plans to expand this feature to more Android and iOS devices in the next few weeks wrote Scott Huffman, Google Assistant’s Vice President of Engineering, in a recent blog post.
“We look forward to bringing this service to more people across the U.S. to make planning a night out just a bit easier…[over the next few weeks we] will continue to incorporate feedback as we continue testing,”
wrote Huffman. Using customer feedback from pilot programs in Phoenix and Atlanta, among other U.S cities, Google is just beginning to expand its reservation action to the majority of U.S states.
The Assistant’s new reservation skill is built on Duplex technology, a system that uses artificial intelligence to replicate natural human speech. Rather than sounding robotic, Duplex sounds more natural and conversational so the business owner may not be aware that they’re speaking to a robot. The Assistant will only call a business if online reservations are not available, and all calls are recorded to assure quality.
This expansion of the Assistant’s capabilities follows a huge increase in actions. In 2018 alone, the amount of Google Assistant actions more than doubled. The majority of actions fall under Education and References at a little over 15%, while Games and Fun and Kids and Family came in second and third. In the past year, Google has made many improvements to its artificial intelligence technology that recognizes voices, adding bilingual features like Polish. As smart home platforms increase in popularity, it’s expected that Google continues to update and improve its Assistant.