I just wanted to draw your attention to this lovely IVR project by a cleverly snarky Media Design Program MFA student called Jayne Vidheecharoen. It’s called Customer Service Romance. Its a sketch of an “uncanny valley” experience in which the ‘bot or AI that we are all by now familiar with in these call service center tips into a slightly neurotic networked-era “friend.” The unsettling moment when the interactive voice response experience goes from basically the audio equivalent of clicking boxes on a web form into a true dialogue is when you have the moment when the world tilts slightly and you begin to wonder — where am I? Who is this?
Jayne has the links to listen to an audio recording of the whole, unsettling bit of near future unsettlingness. Or, presumably you can call yourself using the Skype number above.
Why do I blog this? It’s a fun project, done as a brief, short-sharp sorta sketch that uses some underutilized bits of inexpensive/free prototyping tools — these IVR systems are a vastly under-considered bit of playground equipment. With all the fetish over our jealous, gooey, luscious, touch-y-feel-y screens we’ve fully forgotten about sound, audio and our earballs as experience conduits. And I just want to add a flag in the archives so I can find this should I need to get back to it.