Telemarketing Robot Won’t Admit She’s A Robot
So, apparently this is a thing that telemarketers are doing now. This chick totally sounds like a real person… until she starts sounding like a robot. Creepy stuff.
The phone call was recorded by TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer.
When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real, with a charming laugh. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.
Over the course of the next hour, several TIME reporters called her back, working to uncover the mystery of her bona fides. Her name, she said, was Samantha West, and she was definitely a robot, given the pitch perfect repetition of her answers. Her goal was to ask a series of questions about health coverage—”Are you on Medicare?” etc.—and then transfer the potential customer to a real person, who could close the sale.
The robot voice’s name is Samantha West and the company behind the calls denies that she’s a robot.
It’s all very weird and just makes me think of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and you should read the whole and listen to more calls over on the TIME website.