Customer service representatives at a number of airports across the states are being replaced by avatars that provide travellers with basic information while smiling manically.
Who wants to hire someone who might get sick, express their opinions or have feelings? That kind of rubbish could cause all sorts of problems, so let’s take tips from James Cameron and create an avatar to work for us instead. YEAH. Well that seems to be the thinking behind the new airport avatars that are being installed at LaGuardia, JFK and Liberty Newark airports in early July.
More than 70 life-sized flat screens in the shape of a smily and crazy-looking woman will provide passengers with flight information, tips about services and pick-ups, which will begin when someone approaches. Unfortunately the avatars won’t be able to interact with people just yet, which maybe renders them a little useless for now, but we’re interested in seeing what the next iteration of the devices can do.
This all sounds like a step forward in the world of customer service, right? If avatars can dispense standard bits of information, then maybe real people (the kind made of flesh and blood and muscles and things, remember?) can deal with more complicated problems. But the thing that worries us a little is what the new avatar says when you first meet her. We’ll let her do the talking:
“I am the latest and greatest in next generation public guidance and advertising!
“I never take a break, don’t charge overtime, hardly ever take sick leave, and I don’t need a background check!
“I’m so versatile, I could be used for just about anything!
“I can say what you want, dress the way you want, and be just about anything you want me to be!”
We know what you’re thinking you bad, bad people. But, she’s REALLY just designed to tell you about flights and stuff and not become someone’s filthy sex avatar. Not yet anyway…
But other than the fact she has no self respect, we don’t really understand why she has to exist in the first place. Do people really feel more comfortable talking to a creepy fake woman than say interacting with screens crammed with tonnes of information?[Via Jezebel via WNYC]