Today I wanted to confirm whether I already needed to make payment on a bill, so I called the number written on the bill statement. Not surprisingly, the call was answered by a virtual person.
“She” was very polite, and she asked me some questions to verify it was really me, guiding me through the process. At some point she said “Your bill is not due until November 30. Would you like to pay now?”
At that point, I just hung up the phone. The bill was not yet due, so I didn’t need to pay anything, and there was no point in continuing.
Had I been talking to a real person, I would have exchanged some sort of pleasantries before hanging up. Presumably I would have thanked the person for their time, wished them a good Thanksgiving holiday, and so forth. But in this case, since there was no actual person on the other end, I simply hung up.
Afterward, the question occurred to me as to whether A.I. will ever advance enough to change my behavior. In other words, in that same situation, given a sufficiently advanced A.I. agent, would I ever feel the need to first exchange pleasantries with that agent, rather than simply hanging up the phone?
I suspect that the answer is no, and I think the reasons are profound and important. More tomorrow.