With all the talk of chatbots, I suddenly remembered the bot that was hired as staff at a Jordanian university and wondered whatever happened to it.
Nothing new on the bot, whose name is Pepper, and was hired in January by Princess Sumaya University for Technology. It is one of a series of Peppers made in Japan.
The ceremony for the bot is not much better. Not many female faces in this crowd, and certainly none in the front row.
Although Pepper tends to be male in Japan and female elsewhere, this particular Pepper, who had received a university ID card during the ceremony, seems to be unabashedly male. Likewise with it programmers: Saddam, Amr, and Mustafa. No word yet on the bot’s salary or who takes charge of it.
But here is the biggest surprise.
Earlier in the week, Jimbo’s new Wiki Tribune venture did a piece on robots interacting cutely with the elderly. Pepper gets a brief mention as leading an exercise class. So guess what comes up first in a google search for this bot?
Yup. Looks like Jimbo has got himself some serious street-cred for his new venture.