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French robot NAO finds job at Japanese bank
At some point we all have to face reality: we can’t sponge off our parents, enjoying Netflix and consuming Doritos in industrial quantities forever. Eventually we have to get a job and become a productive member of society (or write for a living in our case.) That time has come for French robot NAO, who has left Paris to get his first job at a bank in Japan.
NAO aced the interview at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc to become the bank’s first non-human employee. How, you ask? Well, his qualifications are impeccable: he speaks 19 language and is a great judge of emotions thanks to the camera embedded in his head. Combining these skills, he’s able to read customer emotions based on tone of voice and facial expressions, and can then greet visitors in their own language and offer them a full range of banking services. It’s not clear how he’d react to an angry customer who can only speak Esperanto though.
He rounds off his resume by being a quick learner, as the videos below demonstrate: NAO enjoys a wide range of hobbies including golf and interpretive dance:
Takuma Nomoto, the chief manager of information technology initiatives at the bank’s lending arm told Bloomberg, “Robots can supplement services by performing tasks that our human workers can’t, such as 24-hour banking and multilingual communication.”
“NAO is cute and friendly and I believe our customers will like it,” he added.
NAO’s starts work in April, posted in two Tokyo locations. It’s a trial to begin with, so NAO could be back drawing unemployment cheques before you know it, should he insult a customer, or start turning up for work late for instance.
NAO is the sibling of Pepper, who we covered on Go Explore last year, from Aldebaran. The company also makes another robot called Romeo, but we had to close the window pretty sharply to ensure he doesn’t haunt our dreams tonight, so couldn’t tell you much more about his software.