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Truecaller Offers Perfectly Useless Feature to Let AI Respond to Calls in Your Voice

This week’s example of unnecessary AI innovation comes from the caller ID platform Truecaller which is using Microsoft’s Personal Voice technology to power a new tool that can “replicate users’ voices in order to greet and respond to callers.” Here’s a breakdown of each “feature” it promises, along with a list of how I currently accomplish these things myself:

  • “Answer phone calls for you” – I can answer them myself, if I want.
  • “Screen unknown calls” – I don’t answer.
  • “Take messages” – Voicemail was made for this already.
  • “Respond on your behalf” – Impersonal and annoying to the caller.
  • “Record the call” – Sneaky without permission and mostly unnecessary.

The BEST call-related feature of my phone is that most unknown calls show up as “Scam Likely,” so the last thing I need is AI responding to scam phone calls thereby encouraging more scammers to call me. Instead, I wish someone would make a button that simply lets me “Block Forever” on any scam call.

This would be like the phone equivalent of unsubscribing to an email. Not only would that be emotionally fulfilling, it would also be wildly useful. The point is, I don’t need technology that responds to conversations I don’t want to have in the first place. Or technology that pretends to be me. I’d much rather have technology that filters out these unwanted encounters in the first place.

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