There are times when new technological ideas work for the majority. If you work in an office all day, perhaps you spend a lot of time on the phone dealing with people. The last thing you need when you get home from work is a series of telemarketing calls.
Unfortunately, despite all of its advancements, technology has made it simple and inexpensive for telemarketers and robocalls to use Internet powered phone systems to call people all across the country. Many of us found that pressing the option to “put me on your do-not-call list” doesn’t work.
Recently Roger Anderson of Arcadia decided to take matters into his own hands. Anderson has been working in telecommunications for over 25 years, so he knows a little something about how telemarketing calls worked. He decided that the best way to deal with the callers was to give them a taste of their own medicine through his own piece of technology.
Anderson programmed an artificially intelligent robot that would answer the calls, and make the telemarketers think they were engaging in a conversation. Sometimes for a very long time.
But he noticed that the machine made telemarketing calls would hang up if they didn’t detect a response within ten seconds. So Anderson recorded “Hello? Hello?” on his robot to have the call directed to an actual telemarketer. Then he added a few extras (“hang on a sec, “ “uh-huh,” “right,” “yes”) to keep the telemarketer believing he was talking to an actual human,
On Anderson’s Jolly Roger Telephone Co. website, he invites followers to direct telemarketers to his robot. Anderson says to:
1.) Press “add call.”
2.) Dial my robot at 214-666-4321 While you’re dialing, keep chatting into your phone like you’re trying to get Mr. Jones (“yeah – phone for you”, “okay, he’s coming hang on…”, etc)
3.) Press “Add call” or “Merge call” or “Conference” or whatever will add the robot to the conversation.
4.) MUTE YOURSELF so your background noise doesn’t affect the conversation.
Listen to the call, and hang up when the telemarketer hangs up.
Anderson said his son answered a telemarketing call one day, and told him they used “bad words.” Then Anderson set up a spam blocker, but decided to go further.
According to Mashable, if the telemarketer says something the robot doesn’t understand, sometimes it asks the person to repeat, explains that it just woke up and needs coffee, or tells its “wife” he’s on the phone right now. He’s working on new phrases for the robot to extend the conversation even further.
Anderson is getting several hundred calls an hour, and records the robot’s calls on his website. He’s set up a Kickstarter campaign to help cover the costs of carrier’s phone bills and building an infrastructure. Funding would cover a monthly service for consumers.
People can file a complaint with the Do Not Call Registry if you received an unwanted call after being registered there for 31 days. The Federal Trade Commission is involved in a number of initiatives to find a technology-based solution for the calls.
“I think we have demonstrated that deploying Artificial Intelligent telemarketer chatterbots not only provides entertainment and revenge, but if enough of us get involved, can actually disrupt this business!” Anderson said on his website.