Hate talking to customer service? An AI-powered tool may soon do it for you.
What's new: Joshua Browder, chief executive of the consumer advocacy organization DoNotPay, demonstrated a system that autonomously navigates phone menus and converses with customer service representatives in a deepfaked version of his own voice. DoNotPay plans to offer a free version that uses generic voices as well as a paid option that lets users clone their own voice, Browder told Vice.
How it works: In the video demo that has been removed from YouTube, the system could be seen and heard negotiating with a bank representative to refund wire-transfer fees.
- The system interacts with corporate voice portals using an instance of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 language model that was fine-tuned on automated customer-service prompts.
- Resemble.AI’s Clone service generates a synthetic version of Browder’s voice.
- Having reached a human representative, the system generates conversational responses and feeds them to Clone using GPT-J, an open source language model from HuggingFace. (Browder told The Batch he believes using GPT-3.5 to impersonate a human being would violate that model’s terms of service.)
Yes, but: The ethical question whether humans — be they consumers or customer-service reps — should be informed when they’re conversing with a bot remains open. The technology clearly invites fraud. Cybercriminals have already used OpenAI's large language models for phishing attacks, cybersecurity analyst Check Point Research found in a recent study. In 2020, a group scammed a Dubai bank out of $400,000 by synthesizing a customer’s voice.
Why it matters: Nobody likes to spend time on the phone with customer service. AI could make this obsolete, saving time and possibly gaining refunds.
We're thinking: Enjoy using your automated doppelganger to deal with customer service while you can! As corporations and financial institutions strengthen their defenses against automated fraud, they’re likely to downgrade service to automated customers as well.