The Opera Hall of the Pavillion of Bologna Fiere crowded with young students aged between 10 an 17 years, a radio managed by teenagers broadcasting live, a circular arena devoted to debates about work and future. This is the scenario in which Bepper, the robot tutor of Bologna Business School, is moving around. We are at FARETE 2017, the meeting point for the excellence of production and services. The occasion is Teen Parade, a radio broadcast marathon live on the web and amplified in the event area.
Bepper, introduced by Marco Roccetti, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bologna and Associate Dean of BBS, greets in perfect English his young interviewer, a radio host from Radioimmaginaria.
“Will robots like you decrease jobs for humans or create new ones?“ seem to be the most interesting question for the public in the arena. According to Bepper, robots will compete with humans for low level jobs for sure, but they are already creating thousands of new jobs where humans will have the opportunity to fully express their potential. In many fields, artificial intelligence will be a strong tool for supporting human work, not for substituting it.
How will a robot like Bepper contribute in teaching and school in general?
“So far, we are working for a solution that will help students in understanding management topics through natural language dialogue. In perspective we are seeing that artificial intelligence will be fundamental to train managers as well as doctors in decision-making processes.,” replies Bepper.
The interaction between humans and artificial intelligence is the focal point of the debate.
“You will be surprised to know that in many jobs we already work side by side,” continues the robot tutor of Bologna Business School. “ in many factories, in some operating rooms and some robots are even part of editorial staff. Of course there are many different kinds of robot, many of them are just software. Anyway I think that this trend will continue, and that in the future will be quite common having at least a robot as colleague.”
Bepper likes to be a robot and certainly does not lack of sense of humor. To conquer the world, however, is not in his plans. At least not until he will be challenged at Risiko.
Listen to the integral interview.