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April 2017, Vol. 5, No. 2

Chatbot technology raises ethical questions

Through the course of reporting on the use of artificial intelligence in business applications, I visited Conversica's website to request a live demo of its chatbot technology. I filled out the online form, and a friendly sales assistant named Rachel Brooks followed up via email to provide me with more information. When I didn't respond, persistent as salespeople can be, she sent another email: Subject: Rachel Brooks with Conversica following up Hi Bridget, I want to follow up on the email I sent you to see if we could answer any questions you might have about our artificial intelligence lead engagement software. Would you be interested in setting up a call for more information? Thank you very much, Rachel Brooks | Sales Assistant Conversica I mentioned to Rachel that I'd spoken with the company's head of product marketing, Gary Gerber, and Rachel and I moved on with our lives; mine real, hers virtual. "As you suspect, Rachel is, in reality, my Conversica automated assistant," Gerber explained. "She made my sales team more ...

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