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Crowdpilot app lets ANYONE listen in on your phone calls and give advice

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  • Crowdpilot lets user choose from a menu of different people to offer advice
  • These include Facebook friends, total strangers and strangers that get paid
  • Users specify type of conversation, such as a date, argument, or meeting
  • Listeners can text words of encouragement while the user is on the phone

By Ellie Zolfagharifard

PUBLISHED: 09:06 EST, 19 February 2014 | UPDATED: 20:23 EST, 19 February 2014

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Have a tough phone call to make? Now you can have someone listening in on the conversation while giving advice on what you should say.

And you don’t even have to enlist the help of security services – all you need is the Crowdpilot iPhone app and a willing co-conspirator.

Created by New York-based artist and software developer, Lauren McCarthy, the app lets the user choose from a menu of people to offer advice.

Created by New York-based artist and software developer, Lauren McCarthy, the app lets the user choose from a menu of your people to offer advice

Created by New York-based artist and software developer, Lauren McCarthy, the app lets the user choose from a menu of your people to offer advice

These include Facebook friends and total strangers that get paid to listen through Amazon's Mechanical Turk program, or any combination of those options.

This could be welcome news for anyone who has live tweeted about an awkward conversation only for it to backfire.

Crowdpilot also allows the user to specify what kind of conversation, such as a date, argument, or meeting.  Listeners can text words of encouragement while the user is on the phone.

The app could raise ethical issues about privacy. The developer suggests that anyone using the app warn all participants in a conversation Crowdpilot's crowd will be listening in

The app could raise ethical issues about privacy. The developer suggests that anyone using the app warn all participants in a conversation Crowdpilot's crowd will be listening in

HOW DOES CROWDPILOT WORK?

The app lets the user choose from a menu of your people to offer advice. 

These include Facebook friends, total strangers, total strangers that get paid to listen through Amazon's Mechanical Turk program, or any combination of those options.

Crowdpilot also allows the user to specify what kind of conversation, such as a date, argument, or meeting. 

Listeners can text words of encouragement while the user is on the phone.

While it might seem like a handy app, it also provides a relatively simple way to violate someone’s privacy.

The developer suggests that anyone using the app warn all participants in a conversation that Crowdpilot’s crowd will be listening in.

According to Ms McCarthy, the app is a social experiment and she isn’t making any money from it.

‘Will it make us more connected or turn us into total robots?,’ she asked Forbes.

‘We're trying to make people directly confront these questions. Maybe you'll think it's terrifying. Or maybe you'll find it's actually it's kind of wonderful and fun. And where does that leave you?’

Ms McCarthy is also behind an app called Us+ that claims to make people less boring.

Us+ is designed for Google's Hangout video chat service that analyses what the user is saying and makes suggestions based on how they are behaving.

For example, if you are constantly using words that it considers too negative it will display 'try to be more positive' on the screen.

If you're babbling on about yourself without taking any interest in your mute conversational partner, Us+ will bluntly state: 'Stop talking about yourself so much.'

Ms McCarthy is also behind an app called Us+ that claims to make people less boring. Us+ is designed for Google's Hangout video chat service that analyses what the user is saying and makes suggestions based on how they are behaving

Ms McCarthy is also behind an app called Us+ that claims to make people less boring. Us+ is designed for Google's Hangout video chat service that analyses what the user is saying and makes suggestions based on how they are behaving

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