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AI and automation are making office life easier

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That starts with recruitment and onboarding. "Having a face-to-face meeting with a human seems to be an incredibly powerful way to communicate," Samer Al Moubayed, co-founder and CEO of Furhat Robotics, told Engadget. However, he points out that even the most experienced and well-trained recruiters occasionally succumb to subconscious biases while conducting interviews -- be they based on age, gender, race or even just a candidate's responses to pre-interview chit-chat. And that's where Furhat's social robot comes in. The 16-inch tall, nearly 8-pound robot is designed to sit at eye level and provide a physical presence with which to interact, as opposed to an onscreen chatbot or virtual phone assistant.


These Japanese Robots Are Multilingual, Designed To Assist 2020 Olympics Visitors

International Business Times

Japan is known for its cultural quirks. Be it the food, the growing gaming culture or the expanding robot arsenal, Japan never fails to set your imagination alight. Now, the country will be introducing multilingual robot concierges that would welcome visitors at a Tokyo Metropolitan Government's building to test their practical usage ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The trial is part of the metropolitan government's efforts to help accelerate developments of such robots for use by foreign tourists visiting Japan, according to a news report published by NHK World. The government wants to slowly introduce these bots into Japan's everyday life to help commuters and people get information faster and more efficiently.


Japan installs rollerskating robots that speak Japanese AND English at Haneda airport

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Visitors arriving to Japan through Tokyo's Haneda airport will soon be greeted by a fleet of tiny humanoid robots. Standing just 90 centimetres tall, the humanoid named'EMIEW3' will guide users to the proper destination at the terminal and has the ability to communicate in both Japanese and English. Hitachi Ltd began its trials with the robots on Friday, and it's hoped that these assistants will be able to perform autonomously as early as December. Visitors arriving to Japan through Tokyo's Haneda airport will soon be greeted by a fleet of tiny humanoid robots. Standing just 90 centimetres tall, the humanoid named'EMIEW3' has the ability to communicate in both Japanese and English Trials will run through December at the airport's domestic Terminal 2, The Japan Times reports.


Heart of gold: The Ginza Line celebrates its 90th birthday

The Japan Times

Born of disasters, war and massive infrastructure projects, 21st-century Tokyo has plenty of ghosts buried underground. If you ride the subway these days, you can catch a fleeting glimpse of two of them but, if you blink, you'll miss them. The Ginza Line is marking 90 years since its opening with the illumination of two "ghost stations" abandoned long ago. Manseibashi and Jingumae stations have been brought back from the dead as part of a tribute to the Ginza Line, which was the first subway line built in Japan and East Asia.


JR East's new Takanawa Gateway Station to feature robot guide and unstaffed convenience store

The Japan Times

East Japan Railway Co. said Tuesday a robotic guide utilizing artificial intelligence and an unstaffed convenience store will feature at a new station slated to open in Tokyo in April 2020. JR East hopes to make Takanawa Gateway Station on the Yamanote Line a model for its future stations by using cutting-edge technology, officials said. The new station is expected to attract many visitors because a public viewing site will be established there for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The robot and digital signs will provide station information in four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. The station will also employ autonomous patrol and cleaning robots on a trial basis until September next year.