[LINK] Telstra - talking to a machine
Wed, 14 Nov 2001 11:26:33 +1100
I'll address a few of the points you raise.
1. When I say that the use of first person by the IVR system imposes an
interpretation on the interaction, I'm not talking about linguistic
interpretation but environmental interpretation. As humans we place an
interpretation on everything we encounter, usually at the sub-conscious
level. In the case of auditory response from the IVR system, it is open to
us to interpret that as something interesting, or an annoyance, or in more
detail as an interaction with a company, or an interaction with a machine,
or whatever. When the IVR response uses the first person reference, it is
seeking to make part of that interpretation for us.
2. I didn't actually say the systems are bad: just that a significant number
of listeners find them disconcerting. To talk about them being bad, we would
have to consider whose interests we were considering.
3. I didn't say that the decision to use first person references would be
made by the programmer. The decision would be made by a business unit in the
company deploying the system, and this might include failing to change a
default setting put in by the developers.
4. When I say that the decision to use first person represents an attempt to
manipulate the listener, I base this assertion simply on the fact that first
person is used when the context is invalid. I do not necessarily claim that
the manipulation is a conscious decision, for most business unit managers
lack the necessary analytic ability. Rather it is part of their
sub-conscious attitudes to customers.
5. When I refer to first person usage occurring in an obviously invalid
context, I'm refering to the listener's interpretation of an IVR system
referring to itself as "I." Invalid refers to the fact that voice response
systems are not sentient.
Regards, Tony Healy