Irritated by Illegal Robocalls? They Show How We Can’t Stop Technology We Create From Hurting Us

The other day I got a robocall from a Texas law enforcement outfit. I missed the name because while the robot was talking I put him, I mean it, on hold to dial in my own robot in a merged call.I subscribe to Jolly Roger Telephone Service, which lets me pick robots to talk to illegal phone marketeers. But this was the first time I was attempting a robot-to-robot conversation."Hello," my robot voice began.CopBot was in the middle of his pitch: "And remember these men and women put their lives on the line to make our communities safer every day.""What can I do for you?" mine asked.CopBot answered: "The levels of support are $35, $50 and $75. What can I put you down for?"Mine answered, "I wonder if you could get to the point. Is this a real person? I've got things that I've got to do, too. I'm interested in what you're saying, but I don't have all day."Which is funny when you think about it. What kind of things? But no matter. CopBot lowered his price. "It sounds like you'd like to help at a $25 or $20. Which is best for you?"CopBot hung up. I win. (Listen to a recording of this here.)  Continue reading...

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