Hello Kitty as a coworker?

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How would you like to be replaced by this cute little character?  Well if you are a receptionist in Japan, you better watch your back.  People Staff, based in Nagoya, has launched a new service which will allow companies to rent these "electronic receptionist."  With these robot receptionists costing about $425 a month, People Staff is hoping to save companies money.  This alternative will cost companies a fraction of the price to hire a human temp.   But, can a robot really replace a receptionist?

The unit can recognize up to 10 faces, tell people when the party they are interested in is ready to see them, and has 20,000 stored conversation patterns, songs, and riddles.  This is everything a company needs in a receptionist, right?   Some may argue that a robot could never replace someone in such a “people” friendly position, but it does seem to be a step forward in robot-human interaction.

[CNN Money] [The Age]

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