Whitebeard has a bad habit of talking in circles. That is by design. Whitebeard is a digital contraption that only sounds human. He is the creation of Roger Anderson, a real-life 54-year-old in Monrovia, Calif., who employs chatbots and AI to frustrate and waste the time of telemarketers and scammers.

“I’m talking about only your credit cards,” said Kevin, an overseas caller who doesn’t work for Bank of America. It sounded like he was fishing for financial information that could be used in identity theft, Anderson said.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t catch your name,” said Whitebeard, who speaks in the cloned voice of Sid Berkson, a Vermont dairy farmer and a friend of Anderson’s. “What’s your name, buddy?”

Whitebeard stalls for time at the start of phone calls, using chatbot inanities about TV remotes and the like to give a couple of minutes for GPT-4, the OpenAI software, to process the telemarketer’s spiel and generate responses. Once ready, the AI text is fed into a voice cloner, which carries on the conversation.

Here is the full WSJ article.

The post People Hire Phone Bots to Torture Telemarketers appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.


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