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Great. NOT. A telemarketing robot

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12-18-2013, 02:26 AM
  #1
LadyStanley
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Great. NOT. A telemarketing robot

http://io9.com/freakishly-realistic-...@georgedvorsky

Quote:
Recently, Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer received a phone call from an apparently bright and engaging woman asking him if he wanted a deal on his health insurance. But he soon got the feeling something wasn't quite right.
They have recordings of some of the conversation.

Creepy.

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12-18-2013, 03:05 AM
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RandV
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Well that sucks. I'm guessing that the technology here is all in voice recognition, and the women's voice is a prerecording?

I've always been interested in the latter part for it's potential for gaming. With the advent of voice acting in games, scripts started getting a whole lot smaller and less complex because it costs a whole lot more money to have an actor voice everything than it does a writer to simply write it. So could legitimate automated voice technology bridge that gap?

I never even considered the implications with telemarketing though

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12-18-2013, 06:40 AM
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Puck
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I don't think it's illegal or unethical to use 'robots', the question here is about the company going to great lengths to cover it up or lying about it. Their marketing research must show that people prefer talking to real people and not bots, so that is the 'service' they are pretending to deliver as a preference (which isn't true). As a consumer, you then have to ask yourself if you want to do business with a company that operates that way (not so much about using bots but lying about it).

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12-18-2013, 10:44 PM
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MarkGio
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I wonder how far this will go, and like the check out cashier, if humans will eventually be replaced.

Don't judge me. But I thought how weird and funny it would be if they used these robots for those single's hot-lines. Maybe I'll ask the next telemarketer what they are wearing... for the purpose of screening for robots.

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12-18-2013, 10:46 PM
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MarkGio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puck View Post
I don't think it's illegal or unethical to use 'robots', the question here is about the company going to great lengths to cover it up or lying about it. Their marketing research must show that people prefer talking to real people and not bots, so that is the 'service' they are pretending to deliver as a preference (which isn't true). As a consumer, you then have to ask yourself if you want to do business with a company that operates that way (not so much about using bots but lying about it).
Perhaps. But what if you agree to do buy what that robot is selling? Is it legally binding? Did the robot inform you of the terms and agreements?

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12-19-2013, 08:05 AM
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tarheelhockey
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True story:

I had a sales guy come out to pitch one of those gutter-screening systems. I'll spare you the details, but it was an extremely sales-y pitch with a lot of rehearsed lines and gimmickry.

At the end of the visit, he tells me he wants me to talk to the president of the company. So he dials a number on his cell phone, briefly tells "Mr. _____" that he wants to introduce me to a new client, and hands me the phone.

I kid you not -- the damned thing was a robot recording that was designed to mimic conversation. I knew it as soon as I heard the speech pattern, which sounded a little too stilted. And of course I'm standing there with the sales guy looking at me expectantly, in the horrifically awkward position of having to pretend I haven't noticed that I'm talking to a machine. Just to confirm it to myself, I tweaked my phrasing, using a statement to ask a question and such. Of course it didn't pick up on the nuances and prattled along.

By far the weirdest sales experience I've ever had.

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