Monday, May 18, 2009

Dell online help support fails the Turing Test

It's official Eliza is more intelligent than Dell help agents.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA

Had a sadly hilarious online chat with Dell support today, it reminded me of the old Eliza program. I expected any minute for it to ask me how I felt about the fan.

Here is the conversation I had, it's the abridged version as I removed a lot of other peripheral stuff:
Initial Question/Comment: Fan is loose and making a loud ricketting noise.
agent: Have you done any diagnostic tests or trouble shooting steps to help identify the issue?
me: did you read my questions? how do I diagnose a ricketting fan, am I speaking to a person here, or a bot?
agent: I am a human.
me: just wanted to be sure, didn't want to go round and round being asked the same Qs, via an automated agent.
agent: What have you tried so far to fix this?
me: um to fix a fan I'd have to open up my laptop, this voids my warranty, want me to do this now?
agent: Did you already tried to update your BIOS for your fan issue?
system: The session has ended!