In Japan, when you go out to the city, you hear a robotic audio guidance everywhere. “Welcome”, “The truck will turn right.”, “The doors are closing.”, “Two tickets are coming out.”, “The train is now arriving.”, “Please do not forget your change.”, “Thank you.”…etc.
Now, the Japanese banks are making the bankers mechanical too. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. is now aiming to become more entertaining and improve operational efficiency. So what do they do? The decide to hire robot “NAO” from the french company Aldebaran. I’m not sure if banks really need robots to make them more entertaining though.
NAO can recognize customers with the camera, and can answer questions like “where is the ATM?” and “where can I apply for a financial loan?”. It is getting ready for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and can speak 19 languages such as English and French for the foreign customers. The hospitality-“omotenashi” that Japan is known for, might get taken over by an Android in the future.
Translated by Yuki Mat.