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After Pixel Devices, Google Duplex Reaching iOS Users in US Cities

The status of a wider roll-out of Duplex to non-Pixel Android users also remains unclear as of now

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Moving on from Pixel devices, iOS users in the US are getting Google’s voice-calling “Duplex” — that lets Artificial Intelligence (AI) mimic a human voice to make appointments and book tables through phone calls.

The support site for Duplex lists the iPhone as being part of this rollout, with iOS users simply needing Google Assistant installed to get started, 9To5Google reported on Wednesday.

Including New York and San Francisco, Google’s automated calling service has expanded to 43 US states but was stuck firmly on Pixel handsets until now.

The exact number of US cities where the functionality is reaching iOS users remains undisclosed.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

Google CEO Sundar Pichai introduced Duplex earlier this week in the company’s annual developer’s conference Google I/O and demonstrated how the AI system could book an appointment at a salon and a table at a restaurant.

In the demo, the Google Assistant sounded like a real person that led to an outcry over the ethical dilemmas raised by tech critics.

Also Read- Facebook, WhatsApp Become Fake News Factories in India: Report

Google, however, confirmed later that the system would have a “disclosure built-in” and Duplex would identify itself during interactions.

The status of a wider roll-out of Duplex to non-Pixel Android users also remains unclear as of now. (IANS)

Next Story

Google, Apple Block TikTok Download in India

With over 54 million users every month, TikTok allows its users to create and share videos and these may have inappropriate content

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The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

Google and Apple have blocked the download of TikTok from Play Store and App Store respectively in India, following a request from the government to ban access to the Chinese short video-sharing app that has been downloaded over 230 million times in the country.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the original Madras HC court order on April 3.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to lift the ban on TikTok and set April 24 the next hearing date.

A Google spokesperson told IANS: “As a policy, we don’t comment on individual apps but adhere to the law in countries we operate in.”

TikTok said in a statement that the company has faith in the Indian judicial system.

“We are optimistic about an outcome that would be well received by over 120 million monthly active users in India, who continue using TikTok to showcase their creativity and capture moments that matter in their everyday lives,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

TikTok
The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere, for now, with the Madras High Court’s order banning Chinese video app TikTok, and directed further hearing in the matter on April 22.

Expressing concern over the “pornographic and inappropriate” contents of the TikTok, the High Court had, on April 3, directed the Centre to ban the app.

The ban order came after the court noted that children were being exposed to pornographic and inappropriate material.

Also Read- Facebook Joins GAME to Train Entrepreneurs in India

With over 54 million users every month, TikTok allows its users to create and share videos and these may have inappropriate content.

The rise of Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok in India has been so spectacular over the past year that it is now nearly impossible for any social media user to not have come across its content.

These user-created videos that often contain memes, lip-syncing songs and sometimes sleazy posts regularly find ways to other popular social media sites including Facebook, WhatsApp and ShareChat. These are the platforms where most adult social media users are now getting introduced to TikTok. (IANS)