This is such a fun story. A guy had had enough of telemarketers, so he came up with a robotic scheme to drive them crazy:
While the simple robot does not possess anything near artificial intelligence, it does understand speech patterns and inflections, so it can monitor what the telemarketer is saying, and then do its best to try to keep the person on the end of the line engaged.Often the robot just has a little fun. Using recorded lines spoken by Mr. Anderson, it may say the following to the telemarketer: “I just woke up from a nap, I took some medicine and I’m really groggy. Can you go a little slower?” Sometimes it interrupts the telemarketer to ask questions. “Do you drink coffee?” or “You sound like someone I went to high school with.”The idea is to keep the telemarketer on the call for as long as possible. The longer the conversation goes on, the more eccentric the robot becomes. In one sequence, the robot tells the telemarketer that a bee landed on his arm, and asks the telemarketer to keep talking as he focuses on the bee.
This really made me laugh. The best part is that he's made the system available to anyone. Read the linked NYT story to find out how to do it.
Telemarketers are the scum of the earth. It's about time someone turned the tables on them.