Google first showed off Duplex by having the AI book haircut appointments, but the Assistant feature was unexpectedly left by the wayside in favor of making restaurant reservations. It appears to have come roaring back, though. VentureBeat has discovered that Duplex is now ready to book haircut appointments in the real world. When you find a barber or hairstylist that requires a phone call to book an appointment, you tell Assistant details like your preferred timing, cut type, and even your choice of stylist -- the AI then handles the call for you. As before, Duplex will warn that the call is automated and being recorded. If the hairstylist doesn't want to be recorded, Duplex will pass the call to a human operator.
City Councilor Michelle Wu is calling on her colleagues to reject three of Mayor Martin Walsh's four zoning board nominees, saying the mayor needs to come back with new appointees that fit with new changes to board's composition. Wu, who chairs the Committee on Planning, Development, and Transportation, is making that recommendation in a committee report following a meeting last Thursday about the mayor's four pending appointments to the Zoning Board of Appeal. The council is expected to vote on the matter in its meeting on Wednesday. Wu wrote that the goal is to have new nominees ready for a vote by the next council meeting, which is Sept. 16. Walsh has put forward Timothy Burke, Ann Beha, Konstantinos Ligris and Kerry Walsh for spots on the board.
An Italian administrative court has nixed the selection of five museum directors, siding with critics of a much-vaunted reform which allowed experts based abroad to compete for top posts. Culture Minister Dario Franceschini on Thursday, May 25, 2017 slammed the ruling by the Lazio region's administrative tribunal as an embarrassment to Italy. His ministry immediately launched an appeal to the Council of State, the highest administrative tribunal.
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Google's Assistant AI is getting better every year. It can tell you the weather, or perhaps crack a terrible joke if that's more your speed. Give it another year or two, and it'll be able to pre-order your lunch before you even had your morning coffee. But more immediately, it might be able to make calls and book your appointments in a very-natural-sounding human voice, if a recent demo is to be believed. At this year's Google I/O developer's conference in Mountain View, Google demoed a very natural-sounding Google Assistant making an appointment over the phone - a feature it calls Google Duplex.