"I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name. What’s your name, buddy?"
Flipping the Script
Artificial intelligence can do a lot of things. It can make hairdresser appointments, on your behalf or even write hustle bro posts for you on LinkedIn. It can even be used over the phone to trick people into believing their relative has been kidnapped.
But fortunately, tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT can also be used for actual good as well — by turning them against scammers and annoying telemarketers.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, consultant and tinkerer Roger Anderson has been fighting telemarketers for almost a decade.
His latest tool in his arsenal is a convincing-sounding voice powered by OpenAI's GPT-4 that can waste and frustrate telemarketers and scammers by roping them into a painfully drawn-out and ultimately pointless conversation.
"I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name," Whitebeard, the name of Anderson's tool, told a scammer who was posing as a Bank of America called, according to the WSJ. "What’s your name, buddy?"
It's a genius response to a huge problem. One Federal Communications Commission spokesman told the WSJ that unwanted telephone calls are "far-and-away the largest category of consumer complaints to the FCC."
Despite the FCC's best efforts, such as requiring caller ID authentication and creating a national database of blocked numbers, millions of unwanted calls slip through the cracks, often from overseas call centers using internet calling.
Anderson has rolled out his call-deflection system called Jolly Roger and has amassed several thousand paying customers, according to the WSJ.
Best yet, Anderson programmed Whitebeard to use the real-life voices of his friends, including Sid Berkson, a Vermont dairy farmer.
Some other voices customers can choose from include Salty Sally, an overwhelmed mother, and Whiskey Jack, who can be easily distracted.
And clearly, the voices are doing a great job of wasting scammers' and telemarketers' time. One conversation shared by Anderson went on for an excruciating 15 minutes before the scammer finally hung up.
More on AI calls: Cursed New AI Calls Debtors to Hassle Them for Money
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