It’s time for local business to take voice search seriously

At this year’s Google I/O conference, Google CEO Sundar Pichai unveiled a brand-new voice assistant, Google Duplex, that introduces a new way to carry out “real-world” tasks over the phone, like booking a hair salon appointment or making reservations at a restaurant.

The ramifications of technologies like this are many, but what really interested me is the fact that this artificial intelligence (AI)-based phone system specifically focuses on interactions between local business and consumers.

Up until now, most discussions around Google voice search have been on gathering information rather than actually performing voice commands with a real-world effect.

The introduction of Google Duplex highlights for me one of the directions Google is headed, namely, the proliferation of tools, algorithms and functionalities designed to improve interactions with local businesses.

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