Resistance to the robotic takeover of our society is futile.
A recent headline summed it up for me. I live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, and if you dial 988 now, you reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. That’s a good thing. But then I read you could “text” the number too. I envisioned a distraught person holding a gun to their head, waiting for a live person to call them back. Does anyone think this is a really good idea? Abuse of technology is not an isolated problem. Instead, it symbolizes how the human race has conceded control of their lives to bots.
I had surgery in January of this year, and after waking up in the recovery room, I noticed that my nurse’s interaction time was 90% with her computer and 10% with me. At first, I thought this was a post-anesthesia drug haze, but the more I awakened, the more the situation remained unchanged. After an hour and a half, I finally asked her if my wife could visit. She said, “Oh, did you want to her to come in?” I said yes. Presumably, her computer did not remind her to ask the patient this important question.
My recent non-random and unscientific survey of contacting doctors’ offices found that one of twenty still had a human being answering the phone. For most offices, however, the caller faced many choices that I can only define as “touch tone hell.” Then, there are the two over-used robotic warnings. “Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed,” and “Your call is very important to us.” That’s a lie. A human being would be answering the phone if it were very important. The irony reminded me of a great cartoon.
Customer service, or lack thereof, is intricately tied to bots. Rather than letting the customer speak with a human, corporations have decided it is more cost-effective to let them navigate robotically-driven menus. Many of my age group will give up in frustration. Or then the bots pretend to give you a more “personal” option: the Chat line. While sometimes, you can “chat” with a representative, more and more now, you are “chatting” with a bot. When the bot can’t answer your question, it may or may not let you chat with a real…