The first ever robot receptionist clocked on for its shift at a London office today.
Pepper – named after Gwyneth Paltrow’s Iron Man character – has a screen in its chest and can identify emotions and adapt its responses, mirror UK reports.
Pictured at the Shoreditch offices of media agency Brainlabs, Pepper will greet guests on entry with personalised gestures and perform basic tasks in the workplace such as making tea and coffee.
It will also alert staff via email when visitors arrive.
At £26,000 Pepper – manufactured by Japanese robotics firm Softbanks – is cheaper than a human over time.
But the firm said no one lost their job – and it wants to automate “basic work because it leads to the creation of new jobs”.
In future the company aim to use the AI assistant to manage its interview process for new hires.
The idea comes as the latest in a long series of processes the company has automated in order to give staff capacity to innovate further.
Brainlabs CEO Daniel Gilbert commented: “In every single department at Brainlabs, we think about how to improve processes and save time.
“This doesn’t apply just to the paid advertising and work we do – it extends as far as our reception desk. So far our book-keeper has been managing the role but due to constant interruptions we had to look at alternatives.
“It was ultimately a time-costly process which we sought to automate to boost productivity at the company.”
“FAST-thinking underpins everything we do at Brainlabs: the term stands for Formalise, Automate, Share and Test.
“We are constantly looking to automate basic work because it leads to the creation of new jobs.”