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Scientists developing ‘angry AI’ based on recorded calls of irate bank customers

a new zealand firm is building an angry ai
Brad Jones/Digital Trends

Many a sci-fi author has wondered whether it would be possible to give an artificial intelligence the power to feel love. Now, a firm based in New Zealand is embarking on a project that will imbue an AI with a very different emotion — anger, specifically the sort directed towards a customer service representative for a bank.

The Touchpoint Group hopes to develop an angry AI, using two years’ worth of customer calls from four of Australia’s largest banks. Over the next six months, a team of data scientists will use these calls to build a model that companies can then use to find the best response to common customer complaints.

When it’s completed, the platform will be able to simulate responses to a host of techniques intended to calm down the caller, according to a report from The Australian. There’s little information on what the AI will be capable of upon completion, but swearing, name-calling and angrily ending the call would seem to be likely inclusions.

Related: Banks may soon scan Facebook and call records to see if you deserve a loan

The project is being called Radiant, named for a computer in Isaac Asimov’s work that could predict the future of the human race. While Asimov was a hugely prolific author, he never got around to penning a novel about the impact that artificial intelligence could have on his bank’s call centre.

If nothing else, Radiant demonstrates just how complex our relationship with technology is becoming. $500,000 AUD has been pledged for the project, which is a hefty price to pay for the opportunity to simulate an unhappy customer calling their bank.

At present, this project will be used for training purposes, but it does raise an alarming possibility — we’ve seen customer service lines outsourced to other countries for years, but how long will it be before an AI answers your call?