Pepper, a model of companionship robot developed by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank, will soon be updating its programming with a brand new suite of features that include such functions as providing multi-lingual tour advice, administering health checks...and ratting out potential shoplifters to the store management.
The anti-shoplifting feature will make use of Pepper's built-in cameras and facial recognition software, which will compare customers' faces against a database of known criminal offenders. If a match is made, Pepper is programmed to contact the store administrator. Yes, folks, we'll soon live in a future equipped with smiling robo-informants. We're all doomed.
Pepper's other new (and less sinister) features include being able to point out local tourist attractions in multiple languages and print maps via a wireless printer, being able to administer health checks and sign people up for in-store memberships, and being able to perform a broader range of interactions with customers (other than ratting them out).
Be good, people. Pepper is always watching.
Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.