How to opt out of automated Google Assistant calls to your business

Somewhat buried in a piece I recently wrote about how restaurants have been experiencing Google Duplex — the voice-calling AI that makes reservations on a customer’s behalf — is how the company automatically opts businesses into receiving these types of robocalls if they have a Google business page. While this might be fun for you if you’re interested in hearing what Google Duplex’s strikingly human AI sounds like, you may not want to participate in Google’s machine learning initiative without expressed consent.

Google says its AI may call businesses to make and confirm reservations or inquire about business hours. If, for whatever reason, you want to opt out of receiving calls from Google Assistant, here’s how to ensure you’re blocking these particular robocalls.

Doing this will disable customers’ ability to reach your business through Google Assistant for reservations or general business questions. Customers will, however, still be able to search your business on Google search and Maps to find information regarding hours, reservation acceptances, and other details you choose to fill out, such as whether the business offers unisex bathrooms, wheelchair accessibility, or accepts cash only.

Another way to opt out of Google Duplex calls is to tell your Google Assistant to turn it off. To do this, make sure your Google Assistant device is currently on your business’s Google account. Use the voice prompt, say, “Hey Google, please stop calling my business” to confirm the request. (The AI is apparently polite, so an added “please” can’t hurt.)

Turning the Google Assistant calls option off may not block Google the company from contacting you entirely, but it will block the Duplex AI from making those eerily lifelike voice calls on behalf of your customers. And if you decide you do want to experiment with the AI after all, just go back to your business dashboard to reenable the option.

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