Google has been testing their Duplex AI and they are shutting it down on the web to launch it on mobile.

Google is ceasing support for Duplex on the Web, which is their AI-powered set of services that navigate sites to simplify the process of ordering food, purchasing movie tickets and more. As a result, Google on the Web and any automation features enabled by it will no longer be supported as of this month.

“We’re responding to feedback we’ve heard from users and developers about how to make Duplex even better,” Google told TechCrunch via email. “By the end of this year, we’ll turn down Duplex on the Web and focus on making AI advancements to the Duplex voice technology that helps people most every day.”

Google Duplex is Google’s automated system. It was introduced during its 2019 Google I/O developer conference, focusing on just a few narrow use cases at first. Over time, Duplex has expanded to passwords, helping users change passwords exposed in a data breach, as well as assist with checkout for e-commerce retailers – pausing to prompt for choices like seats – and automatic discount finding.

Duplex on the Web allows you to send commands to Google Assistant like “Book me a car from Hertz” and it will magically pull up the right web page and automatically fill in the details. The rollout was slow-going at first, with only select sites and partners supported for specific use cases. You could only use Duplex on Android and as of late 2019 Chrome for Android supports “Assistant in Chrome.”

Duplex On The Web

Is Google Duplex a lost cause? Probably not yet. The new features Duplex on the Web offers is that it has a user agent that crawls sites about once an hour to compile information for training AI models. It also has been known to be resource-intensive and could easily be tripped up if site owners choose to block it from crawling their content.

Now, in the aftermath of these changes, some brands are questioning Google’s intentions. They believe that as Google inserts itself between them and their customers, something will have to give–and according to a recent report in The Information, that something is Google Assistant. Citing the idea that other areas of the enterprise will prove to be more profitable over the long-term than devices made by Google, Google plans on investing less in developing its suite of services for non-Google devices.

We may never know if that’s true. But what’s for sure is Duplex on the Web has joined the infamous hall of much-ballyhooed-then-abandoned Google products.

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