It’s dark out, and you’re home alone, making popcorn and getting ready to start a movie.
Suddenly, the phone rings.
It’s a number you don’t recognize. Could it be an admirer? Or, your mom, out for the night, calling from a borrowed cell phone to say her tire blew, she’s stranded, and needs a ride? Potentially, a murdering neighborhood menace calling to tell you he’s stopping by?
Or, could it possibly be… a robot?
By now, your mouth is full of popcorn, your fingers covered with butter. Rather than take the chance of speaking with someone with whom you’d… rather not… you remember that you have something useful at your disposal: Google Call Screen.
Yes, you have a Pixel 3! You have no need to speak to a caller — whether human, murderer, or robot — if you don’t want to. Your phone can answer the call for you, and you’ll be able to read the “conversation” in real time, and select a response.
You press “Screen Call,” and you instantaneously see a message, telling you about a Hawaiian vacation that you’ve won. Alas, you’ve been burned before, and know that this is not in fact a Hawaiian vacation: it’s spam.
So you choose Google’s custom response to unsubscribe from the list. And happily go back to your popcorn.
You’re just about to settle in to your movie, when the phone rings again. You stare at it. You wonder. But you decide to screen the call again. And then you watch, eyes wide, as yet another caller attempts to give you a Hawaiian vacation!!
This is it. You’re a fighter. You don’t have to take this spam, when you’ve specifically asked to be put on the Do Not Call list!
You decide to appeal to the powers that be, the Federal Trade Commission. This caller persists in coming after you with a Hawaiian vacation, when you’ve specifically told his robot underlings that he is not to call you ever again!
But then you realize… you have no proof.
Oh, but spam warrior: now you do! Unbeknownst to you, you are one of Google Pixel’s beta users, and Google has decided to automatically save transcripts of your screened calls to your call log! This is something Google employee Paul Dunlop told the concerned phone call averse about in a forum, spotted by the good people at Engadget! Praise be!
Thank goodness you have the feature already, to nobly fight off the bots. And luckily, other Pixel owners will get the saved transcripts “later this year.”
Robocalls, be gone. Now, you’ll have a record of every attempt to get inside your ear, every screened call, every cast aside Hawaiian vacation.
Until next time, robots.