Google Assistant will screen spam calls on the Pixel 3

By Micah Singleton

The Pixel 3 will be able to screen spam calls and provide real-time transcriptions, Google announced during its Pixel 3 event today. The new feature will allow Google Assistant to answer a suspected spam call and then transcribe the response in real time, letting users decide whether to answer the call, end it early, or block the number entirely and report it as spam.

When you tap the “screen call” button, Google Assistant will alert the caller that you are “using a screening service from Google” and that you will get a copy of this conversation. It will ask them to state their name and reason for calling, which will then be relayed to you in real time.

Google initially showed off the ability to make calls using Duplex, Google’s AI software that caused a stir given how closely it sounded like a natural human voice, and the fact that Google decided to test out the technology on unaware service workers. According to Wired, Google has a new policy to always identify the bot to callers as Google Assistant.

Google’s Phone app already filtered out calls that it suspected to be spam, but the new features should help catch even more calls from questionable numbers that plague people on a daily basis.

Spam calls have been on the rise over the past couple years, and the FCC is finally taking action, proposing its first fine against a company for making telemarketing calls using fake phone numbers.

Google says Call Screen launches today with the Pixel 3, and will be available to the entire Pixel family next month.