It’s the sort of dystopian futuristic image that may very well make some feel a bit anxious and uncomfortable, but it’s also the sort of image that is very likely to make the tech-obsessed squeal with glee. They are just so cute!
At the end of March, Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation Softbank says that it will staff a cellphone store in Tokyo almost completely with its humanoid Pepper robots, according to a report in The Japan Times.
These wee, waist-high robots will greet customers with their big oversized “eyes," answer questions in a high-pitched child-like “voice”and help them check out.
There will have to be a few humans on hand because the Pepper robot has a hard time checking IDs, according to the report.
SoftBank CEO Ken Miyauchi unveiled the weeklong “experiment” at a two-day exhibition called Pepper World in Tokyo.
To be sure, while the idea of a store full of Peppers made the nerdtastic heart of this tech reporter melt a bit, it’s also a pretty scary proposition for the labor force. Every time a Pepper robot takes a job that was previously held by a human, that’s one more human being that needs to find a new line of work. Retraining the global workforce for next generation jobs is serious and nothing to take lightly.
For a sense of what a Pepper robot looks and sounds like, have a looksee at these videos.