Almost Human: The Surreal, Cyborg Future of Telemarketing

Almost Human: The Surreal, Cyborg Future of Telemarketing:

Let’s just put it out there: This a creepy system. On the Internet, no one may know you’re a dog, but on the phone? It just seems wrong. What good could spring from a bunch of conversations in which one member is ventriloquizing through a machine? 

And yet, in the course of reporting this story, in talking with a half dozen people here and in the Philippines, I’ve come to reconsider that initial reaction.

It may be that only a cyborg solution can alleviate the inhumane nature of modern telemarketing labor.
Let’s imagine that cyborg telemarketing makes call-center workers happier, call receivers more satisfied, and the sales companies more successful. Everyone wins.

If that were the case, wouldn’t it make sense to support soundboard-assisted calls, even if they offend our sensibilities about what human-to-human contact should be like? 

A good example of something that often infuriates me. Things change and part of being a grown up is overcoming that first uncanny kneejerk. Working with tech probably makes it easier but even then, there’s still a lot of shortsighted underestimation.

- Max Tatton-Brown

January 4th, 2014

  • Michael Bian

    Great article..