What’s in a name?

Oh dear.

A library in North America is using automatic voicemails to alert borrowers when their loans are overdue. The software (not from my firm!) translates codes and abbreviations to generate the messages. It’s like the opposite of voice-recognition software that changes your speech into text.

Compared to sending letters, it’s a neat way to save time and money for the library, and give library users prompt warning so they can avoid fines. So far so good.

Except that this library reports that customers called Mia Jones get addressed as “Missing in Action” Jones. Readers with the surname of Pow get called “prisoner of war”.

As one librarian comments, “We just hope we never have someone register with the name of Doa!”

1 Comment »

  1. Jock said

    I get that from my bank. For example when they use an automated phone system to call me if they think they have picked up a strange credit card transaction.

    The name on the credit card account is “J A Coats” which seems to get translated by the software to “Jeya Coats”…:) Not as bad as “Missing in Action” though I guess!

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