Google Assistant upgrade will help you shop at incredible speeds

Google's deploying it's AI to oil the wheels of capitalism

Google assistant
(Image credit: Google)

Google is enabling its timesaving Duplex technology with your shopping cart. It should help making purchases much less bothersome by automatically sending your personal details to the retailer to make every purchase as quick as Amazon’s near-deadly 1-click checkout. 

Duplex is the technology behind the realistic human voice that can call places and pretend to be a human, saving you from the tedium of having to interact with another living soul. You bark instructions at an AI, then it barks them at an unsuspecting retail employee, but it aims to be patient and not even slightly fussed about long hold times. 

A report by 9to5Google says that retailers will first need to enrol in the scheme via the Google Merchant Center, they will later be informed if the process has been successful. That’s good news, as it means retailers should have tested their checkouts to make sure you aren’t sending your sex toys to Mrs Miggins at your old address. Although Mrs Miggins may be disappointed to hear this.

The system is, apparently, already working for some users in the US and UK. When you search for something at a retailer that’s enrolled you’ll see a small box appear at the bottom of your screen explaining from Google Assistant that says “Hi, can I help you quickly checkout”. If your answer to that is “yes please, facilitate this capitalism at warp speed” then you’ll be asked to check your details first time, to ensure they match (remember Mrs Miggins) and you’re good to go. 

Whenever you hit a retailer that supports the feature you’ll be able to checkout in the blink of an eye. And, can you imagine if they can make this work with Ticketmaster. The absolute joy of saying to Google Assistant “get me tickets for this show I want to see” and Google’s little army of Duplex robots just making it happen for you. Honestly, the human hours that could be saved, we could probably solve world hunger instead of waiting for our place in an online queue.

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited about how tech can make your life better.