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Pepper-worlds first robot witness

Pepper, the robot, is all set to become the first AI being to appear as a witness before the UK Parliament.

She is a “culturally aware” robot that was designed to help in taking care of older people. But now, Pepper will be helping Common Education Select Committee in understanding the impact of AI.

In a session to be held on 16th October, the robot will be answering questions on robotics, artificial intelligence, and the fourth industrial revolution. 

Manufactured by Japanese electronics giant, SoftBank Robotics, Pepper has managed to become a witness among several individuals who are set to be questioned by MPs.

Pepper is already a part of an international research project that is funded by the EU and the Japanese government. She will be talking about her work with students at Middlesex University and a teaching project at primary school children.

Industry analysts have already predicted that humans are going to lose their jobs to automation in the future and the committee believes that an inquiry into the topic is really important.

Committee chair Robert Halfon says, “The fourth industrial revolution is possibly the most important challenge facing our nation over the next 10, 20 to 30 years.”

But the most important question — whether Pepper would be pre-programmed to answer specific questions or rely on its artificial intelligence to respond — is still being worked out.

However, the committee feels that Pepper’s insights will help MPs to get a clearer picture of the future of AI. Based on her responses, MPs will decide whether robots can be used to assist in teaching and future prospects of transforming the workplace and classroom.

Also Read: Microsoft Open Sources 60,000 Patents To Protect Linux & Open Source
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