Dasha.AI Releases Free Voice AI Restaurant Reservation Tool Mimicking Google Duplex
Voice AI startup Dasha.AI has launched a virtual assistant that will call and make restaurant reservations on a user’s behalf without them needing to pick up the phone. The Dasha Table Booking tool imitates Google Duplex in function, but is free and open-source, relying on Dasha’s own tech to create the synthetic voice and carry out the conversation.
The tool is hosted on Replit and the interface is very straightforward. You enter the restaurant’s phone number, then fill in your name and phone number, when you want the reservation to be, and how many are in your group. Once the information is entered, the program calls the restaurant, simulating human speech and using Dasha’s deep learning algorithms to understand what the person answering the phone is saying. The conversation is transcribed in real-time on the website and you can hear the whole recorded conversation after it ends. You can see an example of a transcript on the right.
The AI is flexible enough to understand if the person answering says there are no reservations and can repeat the information if asked by the restaurant. Dasha claims that a majority of people called by the AI don’t know they have been talking to a program, although the AI will admit the truth if asked if a robot is calling. The actual language used by the assistant is also not completely fluent as can be seen in the sample transcript. That’s partly because the program was made as a fun example of Dasha’s larger AI work, rather than a complete product. Others can play around and improve the open-source program if they wish and Dasha is looking for feedback.
Dasha’s tool is very much like the Google Duplex voice AI service first demoed back in 2018 as a way to also make restaurant reservations. Duplex expanded its services to haircuts back in October, but the restaurant function is largely the same. The only other notable difference is that Duplex announces that it an AI when the phone is answered and Dasha only does so when asked. And, unlike Duplex, Dasha can claim to be solely AI-based. Duplex had to respond to criticism early on after it turned out some of Google Duplex calls were being made by humans. Google claimed that it was because of a lack of information about whether the restaurants take reservations.
During the pandemic, Google started expanding Duplex’s capabilities to gathering information from stores, including inventory. The AI would call a store and ask clerks about whether they have certain items in stock and how much was there. Google Duplex also grew its geographic footprint last year, including New Zealand, followed by Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Dasha can book restaurants anywhere but only speaks English. Despite its limitations, Dasha’s creation is impressive just for working without the juggernaut of Google’s tech behind it. You also don’t need to have a Google device to use it. While it may be mostly a fun gimmick for now, it’s easy to picture these kinds of services becoming a common feature for voice AI.