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Voices have been replaced by computer responses, vocalized recordings and cold, impersonal messages, and this has been a cruel affront to me.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