Google has said that it will be discontinuing its Duplex on the Web service—an AI-powered tool launched in 2019, designed to help customers with a variety of online tasks, such as buying airline tickets or streamlining the check-in procedure for flights on airline websites.
Google has updated the Duplex on the Web support page, as originally noted by TechCrunch. The current statement on the page says, “Duplex on the Web is deprecated, and will no longer be supported as of December, 2022. Any automation features enabled by Duplex on the Web will no longer be supported after this date.”
The tech giant had first announced the service at the Google I/O 2019, as an expansion to to its call-automating Duplex technology. And, while the use case was limited initially—like buying movie tickets, the service gradually expanded—offering protection from data breaches and checkout assistance on e-commerce websites.
Google has not revealed a reason as to why it is shutting down the service, but as per TechCrunch, the cost to train the AI and fine-tuning resource-intensive AI models could be the reason. Moreover, if website owners block the crawler from indexing their information, Duplex on the Web’s performance may suffer dramatically. The company has been looking to invest less in developing Google Assistant and Google Assistant powered services for devices that are not made by Google.
A Google spokesperson issued a statement to TechCrunch saying, “As we continue to improve the Duplex experience, we’re responding to the feedback we’ve heard from users and developers about how to make it even better. By the end of this year, we’ll turn down Duplex on the Web and fully focus on making AI advancements to the Duplex voice technology that helps people most every day.”
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