Our firm uses a “voice mail preview” feature by which a computer program is supposed to interpret voice mail messages left on our phones and give us a transcription of sorts. The idea is that busy people who are routinely checking their emails can simply read the textual “preview,” figure out what the message is and who called, and then immediately act on it without having to access voice mail itself and listen to a stumbling message that might drone on for a minute or more.
It’s a good concept, but the voice translation process is — how shall we say — imperfect.
Yesterday another attorney at the firm and I were trying to reach each other, but we had one of those days where we each just happened to be out of the office when the other called. After going back and forth several times, I think she left a message that people commonly leave when they are mired in a frustrating and interminable game of phone tag: “Tag, you’re it.” At least, I’m guessing that was the real message — I didn’t actually listen to it after I got the “voice mail preview.”
That’s because the “voice mail preview” interpreted the message as “Hi urine.”
I’m hoping that the “voice mail preview” feature doesn’t an algorithm or program to determine whether the purported transcription satisfies some reasonable plausibility standard. I’d hate to that that any such program concluded that it was deemed possible that one of my fellow attorneys at the firm would hold me in such low esteem that she would refer to me as liquid bodily waste.