Truecaller adds AI-powered feature to prevent spam calls

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Caller identification major Truecaller on Tuesday introduced an innovative artificial intelligence (AI)-powered feature designed to effectively deal with spam calls. Integrated in the ‘Max’ update, Truecaller’s new feature automatically blocks incoming calls that don’t come from an approved contact or are identified as spam calls by its sophisticated AI algorithms, according to media reports .

Although the feature includes a warning note about the possibility of missing legitimate calls, Truecaller has assured users that their feedback will be considered. However, the company has not disclosed its methodology for identifying spam calls. While users can report calls as spam, it is unclear whether Truecaller uses additional methods to autonomously identify such numbers.

The AI-powered ‘Max’ spam blocking feature is available exclusively on Truecaller’s Android application, as iOS prevents caller ID apps from tracking spammer status or automatically blocking those numbers. To unlock this feature, users will have to subscribe to Truecaller’s premium plan. In India, paid tiers start at a monthly rate of Rs 75 and an annual fee of Rs 529.

Paid customers of the Truecaller app can access the new feature by going to Settings > Block. Previously, this setting consisted of two tabs – Off and Basic – that allowed users to customize their spam call handling preferences. With the Off setting, spam callers are identified but not blocked, while Basic mode automatically blocks calls from numbers reported as spammers by the community. Now, a new tab called Max has been introduced.

By choosing the Max option, the Truecaller app will automatically block calls from recognized spammers.

However, users are cautioned that this setting may inadvertently block calls from legitimate businesses.

TechCrunch quoted Kunal Dua, vice president of search at Truecaller, as saying that the company conducted extensive testing using “several dozen algorithms” in different markets to identify spam numbers. These were then integrated into its AI system to implement the feature. Truecaller also stressed its commitment to incorporating user feedback to enhance the feature and will continue to do so.

“Obviously, we do our best to distinguish between spam and legitimate businesses. But there may be some cases where some legitimate businesses may be temporarily (blocked),” TechCrunch quoted Dua as saying.

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