Dec 16, 2013

We now know what ends the most advanced androids will serve: initiating marketing scans. TIME on incredibly creepy robo-calls from a person purporting to be Samantha West, a real live woman, to eerily convincing effect:

When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.

When the number was called a second time, a real live employee of Premier Health Plans Inc., who gave his name as Bruce Martin, answered the phone. He described the company as selling life insurance, health insurance and dental insurance.