Tag Archives: scary

This lying telemarketing robot sounds frighteningly real

Robomarketing

A Time Magazine staff member received a telemarketing call where someone tried to sell him health insurance. So far, nothing extraordinary about this story. Until he noticed that Samantha West, the woman who he’d been talking to was actually a robot.

Right after the first contact, Time reporters began calling the phone number countless times, trying to explore the possibilities and interactions provided by the robot. Take a few minutes to listen to these two calls and join the club of people who got somewhat scared by this sort of possibility.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124048927″ params=”color=ff6600″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124051764″ params=”color=ff6600″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

What deeply troubled me was that the robot was programmed to lie, and to try to convince whoever is on the other side of the call that they’re talking to a real person. This is not the sort of decision that is made lightly. It establishes a terrible precedent for this sort of dishonest behavior.

Coming just a few days after Google acquired Boston Dynamics and Amazon promised to deliver our goods via drones, I’d expect a little more responsibility regarding this whole robot-human close interaction.

Via io9

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