AKA, an artificial intelligence development company, announced a partnership with SoftBank Robotics China Corp. to bring Pepper to the English education market in China through AKA’s AI communication engine and customized functions.
Not only does AKA become the AI software provider, but it also has received distribution rights to sell Pepper, one of the smartest AI robots developed.
Pepper is an excellent humanoid robot developed by SoftBank Robotics. More than 10,000 units of Peppers were sold in the global market as of now, and by far Pepper can be used in a variety of scenarios including stores, where Peppers act as store guides or at events as information can as store guide or at events as information and technology demonstrator. However, seeing the emotional communication ability in Pepper, AKA wants to help Pepper expand its market potential. Pepper’s facial recognition and emotion detection ability makes it perfect for MUSE, AKA’s own AI communication engine. Leveraging Pepper’s open platform technology, AKA embedded MUSE engine in Pepper to facilitate daily communications. In addition, AKA developed customized functions to make Pepper more suitable for schools and English academies as a teaching assistant. Besides the role of an assistant in computer programming (i.e. coding) and research, it will be the first time for Pepper to assist in English teaching in the education market in China.
“We think our software has a potential to help English resources shortage in China, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities where it’s harder and more expensive to hire native English speakers as teachers,” said Raymond Jung, CEO of AKA. “Working with local tutors, AKA can help teachers to teach some extent and alleviate resource shortage issue. Its academy mode also helps teachers to manage each student’s progress more easily and accurately.”
As both companies aim to help connect people with robots, this collaboration will see great synergies in the English education market.