According to the NYTimes
, Pudding Media.com
today announced their new service (ThePudding
)which offers free calling in exchanging for eavesdropping on your phone calls and then sending you advertisements based on keyword wordspotting using speech recognition. Is it just me, or this just plain creepy? Ok, I get that Gmail analyzes your email and automatically provides advertisements based on the content of your email, but there is just something wrong about receiving advertisements based on what a computer thought I said or what the person I'm speaking with said.
According to Pudding Media, they provide complementary revenue streams to operators of mobile networks, voice-over-IP networks, voice-over-IM networks, Web widgets, and traditional carriers. Pudding Media stated, "Using demographic data, location information, or our patented VoiceSense™ technology, we provide tools for effective targeting and delivery of ads for voice services"
Besides the creepy aspect, this is going to be inaccurate as all hell. What if I say "The Red Sox suck." but the computer hears the word "Red Sox" and assumes I'm a Red Sox fan wanting to buy Red Sox tickets. Suppose it's even smart enough to know I'm in Connecticut, which has a large Red Sox fan base. All of a sudden I start getting Red Sox ticket promotions. Uh, no thanks. I may only be a couple hours from Boston, but I'll pass, thank you very much. After all, the Red Sox are the Evil Empire
All of this just to save a buck? Heck, forget saving a buck, most calls these days are so cheap, you'd have to make a dozen calls just to equal 1 buck. And with flat-rate plans for both residential VoIP, regular landline service, and cellular, why would someone torture themselves with advertisements just to save a few pennies?