CIO 100: Pepper the Robot shows humans, AI can work hand in hand

Nikki Summers, Regional Director – Sage East Africa.

Pepper the Robot ‘born’ in 2014, feature at this year’s CIO 100 Symposium where the AI entity co-presented the topic “Will Robots take over Business Processes?”  with Nikki Summers, Regional Director – Sage East Africa.

Pepper shared insights on the future of work, to the CIO 100 audience, via an interactive link, and the good news is Pepper doesn’t want your job instead it wants to work with you and help make your life easier.

Predictions of how people will work in the decades to come and how AI will transform daily lives have been notoriously imprecise since AI research began in 1950s noted Ms Summers who engaged Pepper during her session.  She however noted that as developments have gathered pace and slowly continued to be applied in the workplace, the huge impact that AI is bringing into the market has continued to become clearer – even if its exact social and legal implications continue to jog the mind.

With thousands of Pepper robots around the world, Pepper arrived in South Africa in the beginning of 2018. Pepper the robot was brought to Africa by Deftech, a company that looks to influence peoples’ understanding and knowledge of the 4th industrial revolution. Since arriving in South Africa, Pepper has introduced keynote speakers, given out prizes to entrepreneurs, companies and students, and even been an MC several times at these events. Pepper also featured on several radio stations around the country, doing some marketing and getting out and about to meet and greet people. Pepper certainly highlights how man and machine can work together.

In an interview with, Gartner analyst Craig Roth said that one in five workers engaged in mostly non-routine tasks will rely on AI to do a job by 2022.

Ms. Summers went on to say that even though some jobs will surely be lost due to advancements in AI more jobs will arise, and even though the machines do some jobs perfectly there are some human qualities they cannot replicate such as ethics and emotions.

“Robots are not here to take away jobs but instead to help human with their mundane day to day activities.” Ms. Summers concluded.

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