IBM Watson Will Make Pepper Smarter

Pepper is hot! According to Bloomberg’s report, the 1,000 Pepper units SoftBank makes available each month have sold out since its launch in June. The humanoid robot is already used by more than 500 companies.

Last month, Pepper has made its first appearance in CES and met many new friends!

At the same time, IBM and SoftBank announced plans to offer a version of Watson for SoftBank Robotics’ Pepper robots, aimed at global enterprise customers. The two companies will tap into data and knowledge across the “Internet of Things” to enable Watson-powered Pepper to make sense of the hidden meaning in data that traditional computers cannot comprehend – including social media, video, images and text.

Robotics today can be found in use across manufacturing and automotive industries – even as a vacuum in many homes – however they are limited in function, interaction, and are single-task-oriented, designed to complete specific jobs.

As businesses look to increase customer engagement, many are leveraging cognitive systems to help make sense of data that can deepen this connection. Cognitive systems like Watson can help derive insights from new sources of information about people, for example what they share on social media in order to create better snapshots of their needs and what’s important to them. These systems also learn how people prefer to interact with brands, enabling companies to use that understanding to more personally reach out to individuals.

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