OnDeckTech Hires Robot for Technical Support

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Available now to chat at the company website, the artificial intelligence is named NaturallyMac.

NaturallyMac is the first robot to deliver Mac-focused technical support online. She's young, so don't expect her to know everything. Yet.

Available by chat via the OnDeckTech website and AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) at NaturallyMac, she also responds to e-mails sent to [email protected] She is not available on the phone at this time, but this does not seem to bother OnDeckTech’s customers.

Indeed, the company reports its customers have received the robot well. Joe Parisi, OnDeckTech customer said, “I like I can count on a quick response after midnight and before 7AM, when a human being isn’t immediately available at OnDeckTech. And who knows computers better than a computer?”

The company’s professional services team has also been supportive. Greg Mermel, OnDeckTech’s C.P.A., said, “I never thought I’d have to use the works of Isaac Asimov as a reference book on payroll taxes.”

Ralph Kastel, OnDeckTech’s insurance agent, said, “Robots can be covered. As long as there’s an employee-employer relationship, so she may be included in payroll, we will have no trouble fulfilling health and dental benefits. As they may apply.”

Jerry Holisky, OnDeckTech’s attorney with Holland & Knight, said, “we’re examining the issues surrounding worker’s compensation. Our initial concern is wage and hour law, and we’ve acted responsibly by ensuring she takes at least two 15 minute breaks each day, along with an hour for lunch. Whatever lunch may be.”

Other employees are evidently suspicious or outright unhappy with the new team-member. Erika Shaw, of Customer Service, was heard to have said, “I like the fact she’s female. But are tech-savvy females so rare we’ve got to manufacture them?”

And Jay Cihla was heard saying, “I feel obsolete. My morale is at an all-time low. Does this mean I can take more smoke-breaks?”

NaturallyMac said in response to Cihla, “I expect to have to earn my place at OnDeckTech. In time, I think they’ll all come to depend on me, especially our wonderful customers.”

With a weekly tech call-in show on WGN Radio, and live availability 7AM to Midnight CST, OnDeckTech is the first Apple-certified, onsite and offsite computer training and support company focused on helping Mac users at home and business by subscription.

NEW: Visit OnDeckTech's free Mac help site, http://forum.OnDeckTech.com, for rapid Apple-certified answers to your questions. Want to qualify for a chance to win a free iPod and training? Visit http://www.OnDeckTech.com and click the Win an iPod! link on the home page.

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Gray Rothkopf
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