Google Shuts Down Duplex on the Web To Focus on Duplex Voice

Google has announced that it is ending Duplex on the Web, a collection of AI-powered services that simplified the process of ordering food, buying movie tickets, and more. As per the announcement cited on a Google support page, starting this month, Duplex on the Web and its automation features will no longer be supported.

  • Google unveiled Duplex on the Web during its 2019 Google I/O developer conference. Initially, it concentrated on a few specific use cases, such as accessing a movie theatre chain’s website to fill out a user’s details and pausing to prompt for choices such as seats.
  • Duplex on the Web gradually extended to passwords, allowing users to instantly change vulnerable passwords in addition to e-commerce checkout, flight check-in, and discount searching.

If you are unfamiliar with Google’s Duplex artificial intelligence guidance for users ordering movie tickets online using Assistant in select countries, this new function is based on current Duplex technology that can book restaurant reservations over the phone.

Adoption began slowly, with only a few sites and partners supporting specialized use cases. Until late 2019, when Chrome for Android integrated Assistant in Chrome, Duplex on the Web was only accessible on Android.

Furthermore, as stated on the Duplex on the Web support page, Duplex employed a special user agent that browsed sites as frequently as several hours a day to “train” against them on a regular basis, fine-tuning AI algorithms to acknowledge how well the websites were laid out and behaved from a user’s perspective.

It was undoubtedly resource-intensive, and it could easily be tripped up if site owners elected to prevent the engine from processing their content.

The support website also mentioned that “serving” is controlled by a Search Console parameter. If your site has Duplex on the Web enabled in Search Console, Google Assistant could offer to do supported tasks for site visitors.

However, some brands were uneasy about Google coming between them and their customers. Perhaps Google’s Assistant broke the camel’s back. According to The Information, Google wants to invest less in creating Google Assistant for non-Google devices because it believes hardware will be more profitable in the long run.

When is it shutting down?

Duplex on the Web is discontinued and will be terminated later in December 2022. After this, any automation functions enabled by Duplex on the Web will no longer be supported, said Google.