2018-05-25 Robo Calls

People talking about Google assistants and how to automate voice calls underestimate the creepiness of it all. Case in point: @brainblasted got a call and writes about it, here:

I was talking to a bot and had no clue until they repeated it. It wasn’t like someone trying to repeat something to convince me - it was the exact same audio clip. That was my only clue.

Really unnerving. Also pissed becuase they have call bots spreading propaganda that front as humans. It held a conversation convincingly FFS, and recognized what I said.


Automated voice calls and automated dialers are already used by political parties and businesses. In the end telephony will be like email: a way to be spammed. We will hide our phone numbers and refuse to take calls from strangers. It’s what I already do.

Of course, spam callers have existed for a long time. Which is why I delisted and then cancelled my land line years ago and kept my mobile phone number unlisted since the very beginning. I am essentially already treating phone calls spam and I’m not alone. Improving automation in this regard will force more people to make the same decisions, I assume.

I keep hearing from people with land lines here in Switzerland how they get calls soliciting this or that, proposals to change healthcare insurance and what not. So right now, not everyone is ready to make the same decision. Not yet.



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