Google has recently made the demonstration of an AI taking appointments. Making an appointment over the phone is a very complex task, because of accents, because of all the little problems and edge cases that might occure, because of all the details that can be requested.
Watch the video linked above the demonstration is pretty impressive, what part of it is for the show, what part of it is real, Google IO and the likes never display metrics about their AI. But so far voice assistants are mostly a failure.
Let’s admit for a moment that this works and if it does not, it might in a near future.
If this is able to make appointments from the customer perspective, it will make it way easier to book something, ignoring opening hours (the AI can differ the call), ignoring the social pressure aka a lot of people hate calling over the phone. It means that restaurants, hair salons and all similar shops might receive way more requests.
The direct consequence of this is that those same shops will be very likely to adopt a very similar AIs to handle both human customers and AIs.
Booking something is complex enough to be compared to a basic cold calling sales pitch or phone support. If so this might mean a huge blow to the call center industry, especially offshore as the AI is likely to feel closer to the customer because of better pronouncing and easily unified experience.
Very likely consumers will also have their own AI to handle unknown numbers phone call or support requests.
Phone calls might be the support to a new form of API ; enabling communication between two systems but also between a human and a system because for the first time it will be actually possible to have a discussion with those machines.
AI will have passed a moderately advanced Turing test.