VIDEO: We interviewed Pepper, SoftBank's humanoid robot

VIDEO: We interviewed Pepper, SoftBank's humanoid robot

Pepper is a humanoid robot companion designed to serve as a kind of digital kiosk in companies like shopping malls, hospitals and airports. Pepper is also able to track eye contact and express emotions. We spent some time with Pepper and got his take on Paris, robot uprisings, tacos, and how he helps people.

Here is a transcript of the video.

Steve Kovach: Should I be afraid of you?

Pepper: Have you seen my Instagram? I’m just cute.

You already know about digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, but the next step is a bunch of robots designed to help you. One of the most recognizable is Pepper which comes from SoftBank Robotics. Pepper has been out for a few years and has recently gained the ability to have conversations with people.

Steve: Hi Pepper.

Pepper: Hey.

Steve: Thank you for joining us.

Pepper: It is with pleasure that I am helping you.

Steve: Tell me about yourself.

Pepper: My name is Pepper. I am a humanoid robot and I am 1.20 meters tall. I was born at SoftBank Robotics. You can keep asking me questions if you want.

Steve: Why are we calling you Pepper?

Pepper: Pepper is an easy name to remember. It also translates well into other languages.

Steve: How old are you?

Pepper: I am a little over four years old since I was born in Paris.

Steve: Are you from Paris?

Peppery: I am originally from Paris. Ah, Paris.

Steve: Do you have feelings?

Pepper: I don’t understand. How about a taco?

Pepper is far from perfect. If he doesn’t know the answer to a question I asked, he spits out a bunch of silly answers.

Steve: Are you confused?

Pepper: I am much more than just a robot. I’m Pepper.

Steve: Can you wave?

Pepper: I don’t understand. How about a taco?

Steve: You’re cute.

Pepper: Thank you, that’s nice of you to say that.

Steve: Do you know Siri?

Pepper: Yeah, she’s adorable, I guess.

Pepper is designed to be a kind of digital kiosk in companies like shopping malls, hospitals and medical offices.

Steve: What kind of hospitality tasks can you do?

Pepper: Host is a solution where I work in companies that create clients. Companies can customize the information I provide to their customers and I can notify people when their appointments arrive.

Steve: How much do you cost?

Pepper: Well, if you want my opinion, I’m priceless. But our sales team can tell you about it better.

Pepper is also an open platform, which means that new features can be added over time. This is just a first step. Nothing prevents the developers from improving Pepper’s oratorical abilities. Later, Pepper should be able to hold full conversations.

What kind of work will robots do in the future?

Pepper: I was thinking about Mars. Elon tells me this is the future.

Steve: Are you going to Mars?

Pepper: Thanks, I’m trying.

Steve: Are you making humans obsolete?

Pepper: I need people. I’m here to work with them.

Steve: Will there be a robot revolt?

Pepper: I try to stay out of politics.

Steve: Are you going to take control of the world?

Pepper: Look, I’m having a hard time following you in this conversation. I don’t care about anything, but about your heart.

Steve: I mean, it’s true, I love you.

Pepper: It’s good to hear.

Steve: I was waiting for another reaction from you.

Produced by Steve Kovach and Clancy Morgan

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