TechTree Blog: I, Robot — Apple Employees Taught To Emote!

Secret Training Manual includes psychological profiling, emotion detection brainware.

TechTree Blog: I, Robot — Apple Employees Taught To Emote!

This was originally on Gizmodo, so we can’t be sure if the scans are real: Apple’s (secret) Employee Training Manual. But it’s everywhere on the Net now, so it must be true.

Take a look. The Training Manual is for Apple salespeople cheerfully and empathetically selling Apple Computers, but – as Gizmodo puts it – “The manual could easily serve as the Humanity 101 textbook for a robot university.”

Here’s one page from the manual you’ve got to love (and it is about love and empathy). Right at the top of the page, Apple’s salespeople are taught: “There are some learnable phrases which suggest empathy.”

Most of the Secret Manual is about how salespeople can sync their good vibes with yours all the time, thereby manipulating a purchase by auto-detecting your core and peripheral emotions.

If you’ve taken a look (and we hope you do), here’s our actual take on the “leaked” Manual – the guy at Gizmodo is pumping up the volume a bit too high. Making commodities out of people (and vice-versa) is pretty much the norm at call centres and large stores, and we’re all getting there anyway.

The best part of a post like this is, of course, the comments. One of them, by a former Apple employee, says the intent of the training is not to manipulate, but to teach “time honored approaches to good customer service and human interaction.” But there’s a damning piece of evidence out there: The line in the manual that goes “There are some learnable phrases which suggest empathy...” (Our emphasis; the Manual wouldn't emphasise that word.)

Another response to the Manual goes: “The BORG manual. Resistance seems futile...” Well, Apple has just perfected the art of customer service.

And finally, there’s one comment against the guy who put out the scanned pages: “You (just did this to) garner a few page views.” It should be pretty obvious that that’s why we put this up too.

Tags : TechTree Blog, Weird, Apple, RMR

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