True stories with a twist!

PEOPLE PROBLEMS

This is the most diabolical situation I’ve ever seen, heard or experienced. It is hard to believe that this is really happening. The state of communication is in terrible condition.

 Pay attention. Listen. Notice. People, our fellow human beings, are being phased out of every day-life. We humans are being replaced with machines in a frightening  way.

images-1

Blank space and electrically generated words have taken the place of warm, human voices. Inflections, which add color and tone to the human voice have been traded in for monotonic, outer space non-character, un-character sounds impersonating speech.

Voices have been replaced by computer responses, vocalized recordings and cold, impersonal messages, and this has been a cruel affront to me.

Whenever I spoke to operators or service staff professionals I always enjoyed making light comments and frivolous statements with them. They always told me that my calls lightened their day; added some humor to their jobs. I related to them as if they were human beings: not just empty voices without feelings.

But how can you crack a joke to a robot?

How can you kid around with a canned recording?

And how do you get an original response from a computer?

My first memory of change came on an elevator. I remember elevator men and women, working in department store elevators, asking what floor I wished to be taken to. I remember that human operator telling everyone in the elevator what merchandise could be found on what floor as we elevated up the floors.  They also were there to answer questions we customers may have had.

And a human voice once responded when you called the pharmacist with a question or request for a prescription.

Now the-phone delivers to your anxious ears the pre-recorded message asking which button you would like to be connected to. The switchboard is gone, along with human operators answering questions from fellow humans. Operators have been replaced with metal boxes that answer phones and answer the questions of callers in synthetic voices.

Even in emergencies such as storm related blackouts, the electric company challenges callers to report problems such as power failures, downed trees and cats stuck on high branches by responding to motorized, mechanical questions.

To get help may I report my emergency to a person? Of course not. Report emergencies to a computer. And be thankful that you don’t receive an electric shock in return. Is this progress? Is dehumanizing human contacts a good thing? Are we better off turning our communications over to cold, steel devices and pushing out into oblivion, people?

People once spoke to us, we, the clients. Who did we become?  An audience for sophisticated devices that need help adapting to make themselves compelling? And what is the next step; who or what will replace those automatons: Robot Calls?

Comments on: "PEOPLE PROBLEMS" (28)

  1. Agree wholeheartedly Ronnie, I am tired of being programmed to respond in a robotic manner, I am tired of pressing one and then hash, only to be taken to the next step of robotic training, tired of robotic calls, tired of robots telling me my call is important, tired of the way technology has taken us, bloody tired, need a beer, at least it doesn’t tell me to hold or press one. Cheers

  2. Yes Ronnie it is scary… And AI is taking over right under our noses.. I spent 20 minutes pressing keys and listening to recorded voices, just to get our meter reading of gas and electricity through.. We no longer get men coming knocking to take readings from the meter, and I refuse to have a smart meter.. That was after I waited over ten minutes before the recording voice answered!..

    I remember a few years ago while waiting in a que in my bank, being asked to used the machine instead of going to the girls behind the bank counter.. I told them I am trying to say your jobs?? they laughed and said its progress.. There used to be four girls at anyone time behind the counters..
    Now their is a cue for just one.. While the bank is full of machines..

    Its everywhere in supermarkets, cinemas to get tickets.. Humans are being phased out!.. in more ways than one..

    Much love your way and great topic.. ❤

    • Yes, Sue, we’re all feeling the changes in the way we are treated by every day services and consumer sales. Why are we allowing this to happen? Nobody is happy about it, as far as I can see…

      • I think we allow it to happen because we think we have no control over it. Many thought they had to have the smart metre, as how they were told it had to be changed.. But I have so far stuck them out. And they have to gain entry to my property to install it which I am not allowing.. Its much more difficult with big corporations and automated services though..

  3. thank you for writing this one. I hate talking to automated response. I always need an agent!! a human agent. 🙂 🙂 I don’t think I will really fall in love talking to these machines.

  4. I thought of asking Alexa to comment on this post, but she’d just rejected my proposal of marriage, so we aren’t speaking at the moment. I agree it’s terrible: my question is, when we have all the robots speaking to all the other robots, what happens to us? We’re going to need something to do!

    • The robots haven’t been clever enough to invade our blogging space for now, so we can continue in that aspect until a broader solution can be found.
      So sorry about your being rebuffed by Alexa, but time will heal your broken heart!

  5. Let me know as soon as you figure it out, Debra, and I will happily join you!

  6. This really bothers me, too, Ronnie. I don’t believe that all “improvements” are good ones, and this is one of those rather creepy insertions into our everyday. I don’t suppose there’s much we can do to turn back time, LOL, but at least selectively, I’d like to do that! 🙂

  7. So very well said

  8. Hel lo Ron nie I read your mes sa ge. It seem ed to con vey dis like for the au to mated bro the rhood and sis ter hood of my era. All in the name of stockholder greed. Lets eliminate all the jobs we can. People aren’t as smart as computers anyway. Right ????? 🍃🌸🍃

  9. Ronnie, I hear you and agree. Human connection is a treasure. I know the names of the folk who take my parcels in the post office and who I buy my groceries from. We ask each other how we are, joke, banter and share connected stories. They are a gift in my days. ❤

  10. I would rather have a robot than some customer care person who has no idea what they are doing. (which happens more and more.) Joke with a checker? I guess I am always in the wrong line. Most I get don’t want to be there and a joke is usually met with a blank stare?”

  11. Unfortunately this is so true. It is one of the reasons I dont go through self check lines in the grocery store. I like to think I help save human jobs. Besides, I like joking around and sharing stories with the checkers.

    • Thanks, Dor; the job you saved might have been mine!
      I’m glad to hear that you joke around with the checkers; it makes their lives so much more pleasurable (that’s what they’ve told me when I joke around with them!).

  12. Good morning. This is your follower, Al. Your post is good. I enjoyed it. Please reply to this comment at the tone. Goodbye.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: