Last night I wrote about a recent exchange with Siri. This morning I got a slightly different view of the current Artificial Intelligence (AI) state of the art.
The latest version of this are the robocalling spammers who call on my cell phone. It’s bad enough they’re calling there instead of to my home phone. I can (and do) ignore my home phone about 99% of the time if I don’t recognize the Caller ID. But I don’t have that option on my cell phone, particularly since it’s the number I give out to everyone in my job hunt. Even if I don’t recognize the caller, and even if it’s from out of town somewhere, I still need to answer.
Today for the first time I got a voice-recognition robocall. The first response I gave was because I hadn’t realized I wasn’t talking to a human. My second response was more blunt and graphic, but got a robo-response that I didn’t expect.
Robot: “Hello, is this Paul? Are you the head of the household?”
Robot: “Would you like information on a home mortgage refinance opportunity that could save you hundreds of dollars every month?”
Me: “Would you like to fuck off, eat shit, and die?”
Robot: “I’m sorry, I’ll put you on our do-not-call list. Good bye.”
It’s a mixed blessing. It’s so much less satisfying cussing out a computer, but the end result is so much more productive in the long run. When I cuss out a human, they just hang up and their computer will call me back sooner or later. (Usually sooner.) With this particular AI, someone at least had the courtesy to program the computer to stop future calls, or at least say they will. I suspect it’s for their economic benefit more than to prevent my blood pressure from being raised. It’s obvious they’re never going to get my business, so why bother wasting resources in calling again?
With luck, I’ll never hear from her again. Until the next robocalling slimeball company uses the same program to call about free trips to the Bahamas, or solar energy systems, or credit repair services, or local handyman services, or…
She was no Siri. Or Dora.