Jul. 28th, 2016

pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)
I told a customer services representative to hurry up and get me a real person to talk to. Turned out he was a real person and was a bit taken aback that I thought he was a robot. It was the way he kept responding only to keywords in anything I said, starting with asking me what category my request was in, then circling back to the start when what I said didn't fit in his standard boxes. I should have guessed he was real when his voice recognition didn't have any trouble with my accent.

His telephone service training must have have given him a flowchart and specific scripts to use - his employers are, essentially, asking him to behave like a robot. He turned much more human in a hurry once we'd cleared up that he wasn't a robot, and became way more helpful. But I'm starting to feel really creeped out afterwards... what if a robot was programmed to be offended at being told it was a robot? What if he's programmed to joke about the situation to cover things up? Of course that's ridiculous - speech recognition and AI may already be that good, but they'd be that good when working with men with California accents, not with New Zealand women who stammer slightly.

Now I'm left feeling cross that I had to talk to a big company on the phone at all, and also guilty for being rude to someone, and also Uncanny Valleyed the heck out, and also wondering if it's actually even more creepy to think about a human sitting in a cubicle all day behaving exactly like a robot.


pebblerocker: A worried orange dragon, holding an umbrella, gazes at the sky. (Default)

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