In other words, not a voice-operated computer — but a computer-operated voice.
Duplex sounds like a real human, complete with pauses and all the “um…” and “uh…” sounds a real caller uses.
Duplex can call to arrange dinner reservations for you, or check what time your dry cleaner closes. In short, it’s a digital assistant unleashed from the cyber world and into what some tech people call “meatspace,” i.e. the real world.
P.S. If you missed Tuesday’s Future of Blockchain webinar, you can download the slides and recording here.
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This week in data:
70%: At Google’s I/O developer’s conference this week, the company revealed new features to help reduce digital addiction after citing that 70% of its users want to find better balance in their digital lives. Google has a number of wellness initiatives in the works, including other mental and behavioral health projects. We detail these and more in our Google in Healthcare Teardown.
30,000: On Friday, Wisconsinite Don Gorske ate his 30,000th Big Mac at the same McDonald’s where he first tried the burger 46 years ago. Gorske holds the world record for “Most Big Macs consumed,” eating 2 of the burgers nearly every day since May 17, 1972. For some alternatives to Gorske’s favorite food, check out our in-depth report on the growing meatless food industry.
1st: Coworking space startup WeWork announced earlier this week that it will bring on Bjarke Ingels as its first “chief architect.” The announcement comes just a few weeks after the $20B unicorn raised $702M in debt financing, a move that has some speculating the company is gearing up for an IPO. Our WeWork Strategy Teardown breaks down WeWork’s many strategic initiatives, from co-management deals to its private elementary school.
600 hours: The time it took to embroider the bodice of the extravagant dress Blake Lively wore to Monday’s Met Gala. The red and gold Versace gown was so large, it had to travel by party bus. We look at some slightly more efficient manufacturing practices in our Future of Fashion report, which dives into how AI is influencing design, blockchain’s potential in the fashion supply chain, the fabrics of the future, and more. Check it out.
1.75M: More ukuleles are now sold in the US than acoustic guitars, according to an FT article released earlier this week. While acoustic guitars held an obvious lead in sales through 2015, in 2017, ukulele sales reached 1.75 million, surpassing acoustic guitar sales, which hovered around 1.51 million. Rock on.
$134B: The pizza sales projected for 2018. Our new pizza tech report digs into the major trends shaping the pizza market, including startups that are making crusts and toppings healthier, pizza chain concepts on the rise, and more. If you’re a client, you can check it out here.