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Google launches affordable automated phone assistant for businesses

(TECHNOLOGY) Google has launched a phone assistant to help you spend more time on your business, and less time answering phones, thanks to AI.

Woman looking at Apple iPhone representing new iOS 15 beta that will blur nude photos.

Google recently started rolling out CallJoy, their new virtual phone-based assistant designed for small businesses. The software helps manage incoming phone calls, freeing up employees and business owners to perform the tasks that matter. It claims to be easy to use software to help small businesses to “answer with intelligence,” using artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline calls.

It costs $39 per month and there is currently a waitlist. CallJoy targets the roughly 30.2 million small business owners of America by simplifying phone-based operations.

CallJoy can take orders, filter spam calls, and can provide general business information to customers. It seems like the chatbot equivalent for the phone – load it up and it attempts to do some of your menial tasks for you.

The program can also direct callers towards specific actions using SMS text messages to provide callers with a URL to complete services like appointment booking. For more complex requests, CallJoy can connect callers to the business’ main phone.

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Not only are business owners and their employees able to free up time on the clock, but CallJoy can transcribe and record messages for later playback. This is tremendously useful for training purposes.

Calls can be organized by topic and retrieved via a software dashboard which can provide analytics like new and returning callers. Currently, the subscription is limited to a single line—additional lines will require $39/month per line.

CallJoy’s could make lives easier for both caller and recipient as both parties can more effectively manage time on and off the phone. This appears to be the flip side of Google’s Duplex, which launched in 2018 to serve as a personal call assistant for consumers.

It’s possible that we really are headed towards a future where AI assistants cut out the monotony of listening to elevator music while on hold. How glorious does that sound?

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For now, we’ll just hold our breath for Google’s demo of Google Duplex calling Google CallJoy… should be as hilarious as Alexa talking in circles with Google Home…

Staff Writer, Allison Yano is an artist and writer based in LA. She holds a BFA in Applied Visual Arts and Minor in Writing from Oregon State University, and an MFA in Fine Art from Pratt Institute. Her waking hours are filled with an insatiable love of storytelling, science, and soy lattes.

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