When automation goes incorrect

c: | f: /

Text to speech still has a way to go before it becomes broadly useful and not inadvertently funny, it seems.

Got a landline call today: “This is your answering service. You have… one… new message. New voice text from zero-two-one-seven-blah-blah…”

So I waited. It was from clickmechanic to remind me that my appointment at the garage was due. Although I won’t use the real garage name or its phone number, below is representative of the text-to-speech message I received. Read it in your head in an automated voice, complete with odd intonation and… random… pauses and you’ll perhaps see why it made me laugh.

Your car repair is due on the… eighth of… August. Please drop your vehicle off at… Fictional Garage between 8 and… 10. If you need to contact… Fictional Garage they can be contacted on four-hundred and forty-seven billion, six… hundred and ninety-nine million, nine… hundred and fifty-eight thousand, seven… hundred… and five.

I didn’t listen to the remainder of the message, I was too busy wetting myself with laughter at their phone number. Clearly, whichever code monkey wrote the software that read out the message failed to take into account that long strings of numbers starting with a plus are telephone numbers and should be read digit by digit instead of ignoring the plus and treating it as a massive integer.

Still smiling now. Love it when tech goes wonky.

Write it down

(required)

(required, never made visible)

(optional, linked with rel="nofollow")

(required)