What does it mean when a suspected robot, doggedly claiming to be a real woman, calls in an effort to enroll you in a health insurance plan?
According to Glenn Beck, the development is "both hysterical and terrifying at the same time," and yet another sign that we are approaching "the singularity," a time when "you won't know the difference between reality and virtual reality."
Beck was referring to a story broken by Time’s Washington bureau chief Michael Scherer, who was called by what he concluded was "definitely a robot" wanting to discuss his health insurance status. Scherer and a number of his colleagues even called back and made recordings of the conversation to be sure.
Beck said the most disturbing element of the story is that the technology appears to have been "programmed to lie" to customers. Rather than admit it is a robo-call or give a boilerplate "main menu" answer to unexpected inquiries, it emits a laughing sound and says things like, "there is a live person here."
Beck remarked: "You're calling for ... Obamacare and you're pushed into this. So why won't you tell me you're a robot?"
Beck noted that he has repeatedly said that in the coming years, people will not be able to trust their own senses. Technology will have evolved so greatly that a photograph will no longer be proof of an event, and it seems that it may be increasingly difficult to tell the difference between a robot and a human as well.
"If I edited out all of the response time, you would have a really hard time telling that this wasn't a real person," Beck said of the audio recorded by the Time reporters.
"Give this two years ... maybe not even two years," Beck said, and the technology will be perfected.
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