One devious genius has created a robot to string telemarketers along—and the results are comedy gold.
Fed up with unwanted calls, telecom professional Roger Anderson programmed software—which he cheekily named the Jolly Roger Telephone Co.—to converse with the callers in the most infuriating way possible.
"Oh jeez, hang on, there's a bee on my arm," says the bot, several minutes into a recording with one confused man who's trying to drum up business for a design company. "You keep talking, say that part again."
It's an incredibly convincing facsimile of a person who is either high, an adept troll, or simply not that bright. One pseudo-innocent caught in the crossfire profanely berates the sophisticated answering machine.
The software—which has gotten smarter over time—manages to run nuisance marketers in circles a few times before they realize something isn't right, but it's still not evident that they aren't taking to a real person.
Gizmodo points out that it's hard to feel bad for the pranked callers, who work for companies that deliberately circumvent the FCC's do-not-call lists, and in some cases are reported scams. On the other hand, punishing the grunts for having terrible jobs isn't the most charming position—one gent, who says he's an ex-navy man suffering from PTSD, might score sympathy points, assuming he's telling the truth. (But as a tribute to his rigor, he's also eager to add that the company will be sure to call back the next day.)
Anderson, for his part, isn't keeping the invention to himself: Anyone can conference the robot into their own calls for a slightly more personalized sense of justice. Though he'll soon have to change the robot's voice and script if he wants it to keep working, as word is sure to travel fast, considering its prime victims are on the phone all day.
Just kidding. They're probably too busy annoying everyone else to talk to each other.
Hear more of the calls below: