Sep 17, 2015

Japan’s Friendly Robot Is Getting a Snarky Attitude Adjustment For Americans

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The Japanese humanoid robot Pepper, which sold out of its first 1,000 units in one minute in Japan this June, will get a personality makeover for the US market: it’ll go from cute and bubbly to snarky and sarcastic, MIT Technology Review reports.

Editor Will Knight met a Pepper unit in Boston this week, and reported back some very distinct changes in the robot’s personality designed to make it more appealing to Americans: High fives instead of bows; smartass swipes instead of songs. In the MIT report, Knight said he asked an Americanized Pepper if it’s like Terminator, to which it responded: “Do I really have to answer that?”

Pepper is a robot that’s designed to recognize human emotions, and is supposed to read social situations so it can interact with you like a person can. And since people already ask Siri questions that get sassy comebacks, Pepper’s gotta be ready.

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