The Atlantic reports on the "surreal, cyborg future of telemarketing" which still employs foreign nationals but, instead of having them talk with their obvious (and potentially off-putting) accent, employs a simple point-and-click mechanism on a computer screen, where the sales pitch is made without the caller actually speaking. Additionally, Time's Newsfeed has an amusing article on one of the "voices" and how the system, despite its ability to answer correctly, still sounds a little off.
[...] perhaps the best term is "cyborg telemarketing." As one experienced manager in the Philippines told me, "Basically, the agent is just the driver but the system has its own life. The agents work as ears and hands of the system." At its best, computer system and operator merge like a character from the movie Avatar and his or her steed.
[...] While the man on the couch might was just sitting there talking, the Avatar agent would have been sitting in the Filipino city of Jaro Iloilo, staring at an interface. The keyboard has hotkeys that can play different sound clips that were recorded by a perfect English speaker.
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