Google Assistant’s AI Call Screening Feature to get Transcription Support in 2018
At the Pixel 3 launch Google demoed a new call screening feature which allows users to have Google Assistant pick up and screen suspected spam calls on their behalf. Call screening is separate from Google Duplex, a service that can carry out limited conversations with real people on its own. There are a pre-selected series of replies users can choose from, including “I’ll call you back,” “Who is this?” and “Report as Spam.” Google project manager, Liza Ma, explains the feature:
When you get that call and you can’t, or don’t want to pick up, just tap the ‘screen call’ button and your phone will answer for you and ask who’s calling and why. You can decide whether to pick up, send a quick reply, or mark the call as spam.
Currently, users can only see a real-time transcription of the conversation. But this month Google announced transcription support for the feature which will allow users to see saved transcripts of screened calls as part of their call log. The call screening is available on Pixel 3s in the US and will roll out to the rest of the Pixel family by the end of the year along with the transcript feature.
Transcription Support Saves the User Even More Time
The transcript support only adds value to the call screening feature. It is one thing to not have to pick up a call from an unknown number but having to watch the conversation play out in real-time doesn’t exactly save the user time. They still have to pay attention to their phone. The transcription support solves this problem. Now all the user has to do is tell Google Assistant to address the call, and they can get back to the task at hand.
Pixel owners should find this feature useful as it estimated that by 2019, around 50% of mobile phone calls are expected to be spam. The call screening feature is an example of how voice assistants can take care of menial tasks for users and provide a valuable service that saves them time and annoyance. It could also make consumers more comfortable with having the Google Assistant perform tasks for them, as many spam calls in general are robots themselves. It could feel less ‘rude’ to let Google Assistant handle unknown numbers calls when they are an annoyance in general. Let the robots talk to robots.