If the Terminator series has taught us anything (other than a lesson about diminishing returns), it’s that we never know when Judgment Day will happen or how it will get kicked off. Someday, somehow, the machines will take over and begin wiping out humanity, at which point our only hope will be a futuristic freedom fighter played by Jason Clarke, Edward Furlong, Christian Bale, Nick Stahl, or Thomas Dekker. That’s why it’s important to constantly be vigilant about machines overstepping their bounds and encroaching on positions previously held by humans.
That brings us to Pepper, a little robot that has recently been enlisted by the Asian branch of Pizza Hut to act as a high-tech cashier. That’s according to Tech Crunch (via Uproxx), which says Pepper will specifically be used to facilitate transactions with MasterCard’s “MasterPass” digital wallet, and will be able to tailor the way it interacts with people “based on past purchasing habits” and “emotional sensing.” In other words, Pepper will be able to tell how you feel about the fact that you’re talking to a robot in an Asian Pizza Hut, and it will customize its approach accordingly. Presumably, it will also be able to tell how you feel about machines in general and how much of a threat you’ll be in the coming wars, which will make it easier to decide whether or not you should be eliminated ahead of time.
MasterCard’s Tobias Puehse says that Pepper is “not meant to replace human interaction,” as it’s just “complementing the experience.” But he does acknowledge that the robot will be introduced to other restaurants outside of Asia if this project is a success. From there, it’s just a few short leaps to Pepper replacing all Pizza Hut employees, then gaining control of the world’s supply of nuclear weapons, and then it’s Judgment Day.
Here’s a video of Pepper in action, along with a related clip.