Pepper The Robot Makes Parliamentary History

It's the first time an automaton has been quizzed by MPs.

A Tuesday morning meeting of the House of Commons education committee is rarely cause for huge excitement in Westminster.

But today’s gathering was unusually well-attended – thanks to the historic appearance of Pepper the “culturally-aware” robot during a session on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Thought to be the fist time a robot has been called in front of a select committee (though snarky politicos were quick to suggest otherwise on Twitter), Pepper answered questions about the impact artificial intelligence could have on education.

Rewarded with a round of applause from the the meeting, Pepper also described the international research project she was designed for, which aims to develop robots to help elderly people remain independent.

But chairman Robert Halfon assured the committee that the buzz around the session would be a one-off.

“This is not the House of Commons education committee auditioning for the sequel to the Matrix,” he joked.


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