While we common carbon-beings were going on about our dull, ordinary lives, Pepper Robot was one of the luminous participants at the recent Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) held in New York, City, September 26-29th, 2015. Pepper was onstage with famous American Museum of Natural History Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Other notable participants at this year’s CGI included 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia and Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. Not to mention Chelsea Clinton and Sir Richard Branson. Participants talked about-- and we assume committed themselves to solving-- issues in such important subjects as Implications of Gender-based Violence and Addressing Early Childhood Development.
Now for those billions of us uninvited types who may not even have been aware of this august assembly’s existence, the Clinton Global Initiative was formed by President Clinton’s Clinton Foundation in 2005 with the goal, according to the Initiative’s Mission Statement, of convening “global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.” Besides Pepper, the Initiative has “brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize Laureates…” and literally hundreds of lesser unnamed luminaries like “leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGO’s, major philanthropists and members of the media...and one robot (bold print the author’s).” Although Pepper the robot’s role remains unclear, as a result of these meetings, the Initiative claims to have “improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.”
Pepper Robot is coming up in the world. Once thought of as merely a companion for the old and lonely, Pepper is now at the center of great ideas and meeting with the Illuminati. Surely an invitation to the Clinton Global Initiative and a meeting with Neil deGrasse Tyson is merely the beginning for this amazing robot’s rise to prominence. On the other hand, some AI experts-- those who fear the product of the very subject matter they study-- might consider the latest news of Pepper’s ascension as the beginning of the end.