Am I Talking To A Robot?

Back in 2013, a YouTube video showing a call between a teen named Sheldon, and a telemarketer called Samantha West went viral. In the video, Sheldon tries to prove that the person he’s talking to is not a real person, but instead a robot. The 2 minute conversation consists mostly of Samantha denying being a robot, and trying to convince him that she is a real human person.

Lo and behold, Samantha was lying. Image result for Are You a robot

While the video doesn’t offer any definitive proof, a few days later, the people behind Samantha, Premier Health Plans Inc. in America came forward, admitting that Samantha was in fact, a telemarketing robot. One that they had built for the purpose of masking the thick non-American accents and language barriers of their employees.

Pretty spooky stuff huh?

The company explained that Samantha, while being a ‘robot’, operates similar to a remote-controlled car. She is controlled by a real human employee outside of the U.S. with her responses monitored and selected from a large pre-compiled list.

While this revelation proved that this was not the beginning of the robot apocalypse, it did have profound implications on marketing around the world. Marketers could now use these ‘robocalls’ to contact people in a new, unfamiliar way with the barriers of accents and language completely bypassed.

Since Samantha, many other large organisations, like phone companies and banks, have started implementing ‘robocalls’ as part of their customer support calls, all of which customers know that they are talking to someone ‘not real’. The initial problem with Samantha was that she had been equipped with the options to lie to consumers when asked if she was a robot. Image result for I am not a robot

I for one don’t mind ‘robocalls’, it’s always interesting to see how close we are to robots taking over the world, and how far they have progressed since Cleverbot.

So what do you guys think about ‘robocalls’ and robots in general? Are you okay with them or are you hesitant to accept our new robot marketing friends?


3 thoughts on “Am I Talking To A Robot?

  1. I notice that more and more businesses are starting to switch over to “robocalls”. I think when its a business that deals with simple enquiries, like department stores about store locations or product availability, I don’t mind hearing a robot. But when it’s for more complex enquiries that are very subject to the customer, like circumstances surrounding banking, that having a robot makes things very inconvenient for the customer and makes the business seem very cold and impersonal.


    1. I completely agree. Most people can acknowledge how that customer service lines are busy, and because of that don’t mind talking to robots. However, if there is a problem that requires a human’s interaction or understanding, most times these robots are a waste of time.


  2. i feel like robots can assist companies quite a bit, however it will be heavily dependent on how it is implemented, i think it would be good if it is initiated by the customer it would be good, like customer service chatbots online, and then the initial customer call centre, to gather better knowledge about the consumers problems before moving onto a human to help out? i reckon it would get annoying if i was being contacted by robots though?


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