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Google Streamlines Movie Ticket Purchases With Its Assistant

Google wants to make it easier to buy movie tickets on the web: The search giant has teamed up with Fandango, MovieTickets.com, AMC, MJR Theaters and others to streamline ticket buying across their sites.

To do this, Google is making use of its Assistant, which automatically pops up when Android users search for a movie. It then presents users with a series of overlay images on top of a theater chain’s website, asking for the time, number of tickets and seats a consumer wants to choose.

In the background, Google is using this information to fill out the necessary forms of theater of ticket vendor websites. Google’s new movie ticket buying feature is based on a technology called Duplex, which uses artificial intelligence to interact with third-party services and automate or simplify menial tasks.

Duplex first made headlines when Google demonstrated it as being capable of having conversations with restaurant workers to book reservations in 2018. The system’s ability to mimic the sound of the human voice, complete with the occasional “uhm” thrown in for good measure, gave many observers a pause — and prompted Google to promise that it would let workers know they were talking to a machine.

Its new web-based version is likely going to be a lot less controversial, and might soon be available for many more services: Google said that it wants to bring it to other online purchasing scenarios, including car rentals, in the near future.

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