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Google’s Duplex is calling businesses to check the availability of ‘critical products’ like toilet paper

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Google’s Duplex is calling businesses to check the availability of ‘critical products’ like toilet paper

Image Credit: Google. Article by Kyle Wiggers.

Google has begun using Duplex, its AI chat agent that can arrange appointments over the phone, to contact businesses about the status of certain “in-demand” items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and cleaning solutions.

As reflected in an update to a support webpage and confirmed to VentureBeat by a spokesperson via email, the company is expanding Duplex’s use cases as it looks to help people navigate social distancing and shortages arising from the pandemic.

“To help consumers make more informed decisions about when to leave the house during social distancing, we’re experimenting with ways to surface the availability of critical products [in Google Maps and Search],” the spokesperson said in a statement. Duplex is collecting the info from grocery stores, discount stores, pharmacies, drug stores, convenience stores, and home improvement stores. […]

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