Can you call nearly a thousand robots every day to promote innovation or harassment?

Can you call nearly a thousand robots every day to promote innovation or harassment?

  "Sir, buy a house?" "Sister, is there a need to learn English recently?" … … In the era of mobile communication, being harassed by sales calls has become an annoyance that many people have experienced. Recently, many readers who have suffered from harassing phone calls have found that various sales companies seem to have updated their technology, and it seems that the "harassing phone calls" they receive are not from real people.

  A survey by Beijing Youth Daily reporter found that at present, there have been softwares that use artificial intelligence to replace real-life customer service for telemarketing. According to the software developer, using AI to make sales calls can not only make the sound no different from real people, but also greatly improve the efficiency. "You can dial 800 to 1000 calls every day, which is 4 to 5 times that of traditional labor." Many netizens therefore expressed concern: if the cost is low and the efficiency is high, will the frequency of receiving "harassing calls" be higher and higher?


  The "robot" called to sell the phone.

  Many people worry about being harassed.

  At the end of November, Mr. Su received a "special" sales call. He introduced that there was nothing special about this real estate sales call at the beginning. "I just asked me if I had a need to buy a house when I came up. After being rejected, I still insisted on knowing it first." But soon, Mr. Su found that something was wrong with the caller. "Whatever I say, he is ‘ You don’t have to answer so quickly. There must be a house suitable for you here ’ This sentence feels like a robot. "

  Similar to Mr. Su, Zhang Lin (a pseudonym), a college student internship in Beijing, has often received sales calls from robots in recent days. "Yes ‘ Male ’ Yes ‘ Female ’ I couldn’t hear the difference from the real person in the voice. After I asked a few questions, the other party didn’t reply at all. I just kept talking on my own and made me realize: Hey, it seems that I have received a phone call from a robot. " Zhang Lin said that he felt a little fresh when he received a call from the robot at first, but later he felt a little annoyed. "Unlike a real person, he will hang up after being rejected. The robot will always say that it is not easy to politely refuse, and it can only hang up directly. " In addition, Zhang Lin is also worried that telemarketing will be more efficient after using "robots". Will the frequency of receiving "harassing calls" increase? "In recent days, at least three times a day, there are people who sell houses, learn English, and ask if they want loans. I feel that the frequency is much higher than before, and it is too late to rely on blackening."

  The reporter of Beiqing Daily found that there are not a few netizens who recently broke the news on social networks that they received sales calls from "robots". Some netizens joked, "Now even harassing calls can’t be received by real people." However, more people are still worried and dissatisfied with this phenomenon: "There is no sincerity at all, and there is nowhere to say it, and the number of harassment is increasing."






  According to the customer service staff, at present, an AI-controlled telephone line can make 800 to 1000 calls every day, which is 4 to 5 times as efficient as traditional manpower. In terms of cost, each line costs 2,500 yuan per quarter, 4,000 yuan per half year and 6,800 yuan per year, including supporting services such as assisting voice optimization and recording, a dedicated customer service and two technical engineers to follow up at any time. According to him, AI is only responsible for making phone calls, making initial communication with customers, selecting customers with purchase intentions and making records. As for which numbers to dial, users need to enter them in advance, and the R&D party does not provide relevant data. "AI will rank customers, and interested guests need the user to arrange staff to follow up." The reporter of Beiqing Daily noticed that in the telephone recording model provided by the other party, how AI replies is actually based on the keyword triggering mechanism. As long as a specific keyword is recognized, AI will reply to the voice that has been recorded in advance. Where is the intelligence? In this regard, the customer service staff said that the system has its own learning function.


  AI for selling telephone calls

  Technological progress or the source of trouble?

  The reporter of Beiqing Daily found that there are not a few AI automatic dialing systems that have been launched on the market. Most systems focus on reducing costs and improving efficiency. The customer service staff of an AI automatic dialing system said that compared with the operation mode of the traditional telephone sales industry, the use of AI can make up for the common problems of real-life sales, such as "difficulty in follow-up, high training cost, quick employee turnover, and emotional instability caused by repetitive monotonous work". He said that in addition to telemarketing, the AI system is also suitable for questionnaire survey, customer care, identity authentication and after-sales service. However, he also admits that the industries that use the system the most at present are real estate, financial institutions, education and training institutions and other areas where telephone sales are relatively concentrated.

  Some practitioners have suggested that the cost of making a phone call by AI is about 20 cents, which is greatly reduced compared with manpower, so it may bring about great changes in the field of telephone sales. However, there are also voices that sales calls have become the main source of harassment that plagues contemporary people, and rashly using AI can only aggravate troubles.

  On December 7th, the reporter of Beiqing Daily consulted the customer service of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom about whether harassing calls can be intercepted in advance, and learned that at present, except for the "white list" service that can be opened by China Mobile, other operators can’t block harassing calls in advance. According to the customer service staff of China Unicom and China Telecom, if users encounter harassing calls, they can use the blackening function of the mobile phone system to avoid being harassed again. The "white list" service provided by mobile means that except for the phone in the "white list" of users, other phones need to be authenticated before they can be dialed, so as to avoid receiving harassing calls from the machine. In addition, regarding whether a telephone line can make unlimited external calls every day, all three operators said that there is no limit to the number of calls to the line every day. In other words, as long as AI can dial in time, it can use a phone number to dial out indefinitely.


  "harassing phone calls" are suspected of violating personal privacy

  It is the user who infringes, not AI.

  On December 7, the reporter of Beiqing Daily interviewed Judge Roman of Chaoyang Court on the question of whether netizens will aggravate the proliferation of "harassing calls" when AI enters the telemarketing field. Judge Roman said that for "harassing phone calls", there is bound to be an infringement of personal privacy. "If the phone call is offered by myself, there will definitely be no harassment. But the current situation is that many times people have received various sales calls without knowing how their phones were leaked. " Judge Roman said that according to the relevant laws, the contact information provided by users to businesses should be limited to specific services. However, in real life, many businesses will use users’ phones for other purposes in order to promote them later, and their behavior has been suspected of infringing on personal privacy.

  As for the role of AI in it, Judge Roman said: "It is people, not technology. Before AI, there were a lot of harassing calls, and AI just provided another way to achieve it. " She suggested that users can choose to call the police after frequent telephone harassment, and the police will investigate the source of harassing calls. "Personally, it may be difficult to trace the source of harassing calls."

  Text/reporter Kong Lingqi


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