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Integrated Systems - News

Time to Check In

Hello, glad to meet you. Welcome to my new column, where I will write about the security marketplace from the viewpoint of a “seasoned veteran.” I won't say “old guy,” but suffice it to say that the lady at the grocery store no longer asks if I qualify for the “senior discount.” Somehow she knows.

I should start by assuring you, dear reader, that I am a real person. It seems obvious, but in the days of Siri and other “pretend” people, you can't always be too sure – especially on the Internet, where you never know what's going on behind the scenes.

It seems to me the “pretend” people are getting more and more convincing, and showing up in more and more places. Used to be the voice making announcements on the subway really sounded like a robot, so at least you would know. Now you can't tell. The person calling you at home may not be real (and with automated answering systems, the person answering may not be real, either).

It's a little like “Louise.” Have you met Louise? I haven't met her, yet. But I am travelling to London later this year and may have the opportunity.

Louise is a “virtual assistant” who works at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 4 as part of the airport's check-in and security process. She wears a full Heathrow security uniform, is stationed at check-in and security, and informs passengers about acceptable liquids and other security processes. Sounds like a great girl.

Except, she isn't a girl. She comes from a company called Tensator, which provides “cutting-edge technology to project an image and create the illusion of a real person.” I read about Louise in a press release, which is an advantage of being a “seasoned veteran” – you get a lot of press releases! The great thing about Louise is that she “brings messages to life and helps to engage passengers with consistent and clear communications.”

Well that sounds like what I will be trying to do with my new column at “bringing messages to life and helping to engage readers with consistent and clear communications.” Just like Louise, yet very different. That's because I'm a real person. 

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