Robot Telemarketer Employer: Samantha West Is No Robot

Turing test, the telemarketer’s way.


Samantha West, the American telemarketing robot who denies she is a robot, does not live or breath or think for herself. Instead, she functions much like a remote-controlled car, directly operated by a real person working in a call center outside the United States, says a representative of the company who controls her, Premier Health Plans, Inc.

“We’re just contacting people in a way they’re not familiar with,” said John Rasman, a human who works for the company.

Rasman said that Samantha West is not a robot but a computer program used by telemarketers outside of the United States—he would not say where–to allow English speakers with thick non-American accents to sort through leads to find real prospective buyers before passing them off to agents back in the United States.

When Samantha West calls, there is a person on the other end of the line, he said, who is an…

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