Pepper robots start work in Taipei insurance office

A shiny new cohort yesterday joined the workforce in Taiwan — a troop of mini robots all going by the name “Pepper,” enlisted to entertain customers and give them the hard sell.

Mandarin-speaking Peppers were introduced into two banks and an insurance company in Taipei, dancing to music, playing with children in lobbies and leading staff aerobics sessions.

The pint-size white automatons are designed to flatter customers in line, declaring: “It’s my honor to serve you.”

Skilled in public relations, they guess clients’ ages at far lower than reality. Then they move in for the kill, providing information on financial products and encouraging customers to go to company Web sites and sales staff for information.

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Victoria Krisman is Interactive Media Specialist for the Intelligent Community Forum.
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