TODAY   |  December 13, 2013

Robot telemarketer denies being a robot

Reporters from TIME magazine tested a robotic telemarketer that denied that is was a robot, but had difficulty answering questions, including “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> would probably find robocalls way up on that list. they can be annoying. companies are getting smarter and using technology much more advanced and voices that sound a lot like a real live person and not a robot. well, a reporter for time magazine found that out recently when a charming woman named samantha west called to offer him a deal on health insurance but he started to notice something a little strange about her. listen.

>>> well, i'm good. how are you?

>> well, i'm calling about an online request you once made about health insurance coverage.

>> okay.

>> we work with all major companies and compare.

>> hey, are you a robot.

>> what? no. i am a real person. maybe we have a bad connection. i'm sorry about that.

>> that's crazy. you just sound so much like a robot.

>> i am a real person. maybe we have a bad connection. i'm sorry about that.

>> will you tell me you're not a robot? just say i'm not a robot. please.

>> i am a real person.

>> i mean, i believe you but will you just say, i'm not a robot? it will make me feel better to hear you say it.

>> there is a live person here.

>> wow.

>> i like the laugh.

>> creepy.

>> the back and forth continues. at one point the reporter asks what vegetable is found in tomato soup .

>> well, that's a hard question.

>> then he asked what day of the week is it? she cannot answer. so i don't know. that laugh sounded so real.

>> anyway, that's good technology. you have to be careful these days.

>> by the way, the company behind the call said they don't use robo telemarketers.