On Dealing with REAL HUMANS


This week I had several occasions to contact companies’ customer service departments.

Of course, you always have to start out with AI (Artificial Intelligence), or some other automated way of contacting them.

a computer generated image of the letters AI

Photo by Steve Johnson

With one company in particular, I had to go through their AI Chat to ascertain what the problem was, check this, check that—things I’d already thought of and checked, but you know, THEY have to be convinced you’re not an idiot, and/or won’t waste some actual human’s time with a dumb question.

I get that. But as I said, I’d already thought of those things, and not only did I not make much headway, but I LOST THE CHAT a couple of times, and had to start over.

I caught on and copied the chat into a text file, so that the next two times I tried (or was it three?), I had something to copy and paste into the chat.

When it became clear the chat wasn’t getting me anywhere, I discovered how to contact a REAL HUMAN BEING. (You often have to search hard for that.) Usually I choose a phone call, but this time, the Live Chat made the most sense because then I could bring the person up to speed about the hoops I’d already jumped through.

Within a couple of minutes, HUMAN BEING Peter G. got up to speed on my issue, and found the problem. It took a REAL HUMAN BEING who actually had eyes to see and a brain to match, to find the source of the problem, which I then was able to fix within two minutes.

In my line of work, there’s a lot of talk about AI, how it will make things like writing this newsletter so much faster. I admit, the AI Chat responses were lightning quick. But were they better? NO!

I want you to know that this newsletter is always written by me, personally, with you, my dear readers, in my heart. AI can give facts, but it has no heart, no energy.

man in grey shirt using grey laptop computer

Photo by Desola Lanre-Ologun

In contrast, I connected with Peter G in the live chat. We joked around. He was very kind. It was a satisfying encounter.

AI, like all technology, has its place. My daughter, who is a physical therapist, told me there’s an app in beta stage that would enable her to record her sessions with clients, then it creates a report that she can edit. That would save her a ton of time and eliminate a lot of the not-so-fun part of her job.

ANDmy daughter is looking into what further training she can do so that what she offers cannot be done by AI. Some kind of hands-on work, she figures. No doubt many industries have to ask the same question, or be wiped out.

No doubt AI will reshape our whole culture, and probably very shortly.  As I said in my article about “goovil, it’s all about whether we master technology, or technology masters us. When Elon Musk and others in the tech field warn against the possibility of AI surpassing humans, it’s more important than ever that we make sure WE master IT.

As for me, I will always prefer human beings to machines, no matter how “intelligent” the machine is supposed to be.

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