A robot lawyer who acts on your behalf

Why waste time calling customer service when a bot can do it more efficiently? (Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

If you’re tired of calling your bank or ISP, a bot can soon do a mundane job for you.

A company called Do Not Pay has created an AI that mimics your voice to make calls to customer service lines on your behalf.

In a video shared on Twitter, the founder of Do Not Pay, Joshua Browder, uses the tool to get a refund on wire transfer fees from US bank Wells Fargo.

The company plans to add the bot to its list of automated services, including options to fight parking tickets and unsubscribe, according to news website Motherboard.

Do Not Pay, which describes its overarching service as a ‘robotlawyer’, currently costs £36 for two months on an ongoing subscription. It claims to have settled more than a million cases, including previously helping to overturn 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York.

In the demo, the bot asks to speak to a representative and then answers the agent’s questions with a series of simple answers. The conversation is stiff and the bot takes long pauses before responding, indicating that the software still needs polishing.

Nevertheless, its creators say it can help with various “legal negotiations”, such as calling the airline to get a refund for a canceled flight.

“It’s the perfect AI use case,” Browder said in a tweet. “Nobody has time to argue over $12 over the phone!”

While the idea of ​​assigning a Sisyphean job to an AI admin may sound appealing, it also raises privacy and security questions. In most cases, contacting customer service over the phone usually requires you to answer a series of identification questions. However, not everyone will feel comfortable giving such sensitive information as passwords and financial data to a bot.

In addition, banks now use voice identification systems to confirm your identity that analyze more than 100 aspects of your speech, from accent and pronunciation to mouth size and shape. It’s hard to imagine how this new bot could trick these systems into thinking he was a real person, especially because of his unnatural way of speaking.

According to Browder, the Wells Fargo bank allows you to bypass its voice biometrics system by pressing a button on your phone’s keypad and entering your ATM PIN. Again, this is information you would probably have to enter yourself or provide to a bot.

Ultimately, these restrictions may limit the bot to perform low-level or partial tasks that don’t require too much security.

Do Not Pay created an AI tool using a combination of existing and proprietary technologies, including Resemble.ai, a site that allows you to create an AI voice; GPT-J, an open source free language model; and Do Not Pay’s own AI models for the script.

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