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Pepper with Group CEO Fritz Joussen and Alexander Huber, Managing Director, TUI Nordics

TUI’s first robot employee finds work in Stockholm

Pepper will be part of TUI Nordic’s data and machine learning team, roaming around the Stockholm office.

A humanoid robot known as Pepper is the latest employee to be hired by TUI Nordic, and has found gainful employment at the tour operator’s Stockholm office.

Pepper 2E has the job title of “robot assistant” and is already part of TUI’s new data analytics and machine learning team. The operator says it is the first travel company in the world to incorporate robotics in this way.

Primarily based at the Stockholm office, the humanoid robot has a detailed job description as well as “personal” goals it will be evaluated on, just like any regular TUI employee.

The main responsibility, TUI says, is to inspire innovation, curiosity and technological pioneering. The new assistant will also help visitors as well as colleagues and external customers with everyday questions and problems.

“Automation, AI and robotics are important elements of TUI’s future”, explains Alexander Huber, managing director of TUI Nordic.

“We already have some of the best specialists in this field and I am excited to see how Pepper 2E will contribute to our team. And most importantly, I hope he sparks curiosity and engagement with all of our TUI Nordic colleagues.”

Day-to-day tasks
Pepper is a semi-humanoid robot manufactured by SoftBank Robotics, who understands and speaks in numerous languages and is said to understand human emotions.

Pepper’s touch screen increases “his” capacity to interact and enables him to enhance communication by providing visual information and carries around programmable platforms.

As a “true TUI employee”, Pepper 2E will go through the usual steps of onboarding. He has a manager to report to and is part of a team that will incorporate him in their day-to-day tasks.

He will spend the first few months “hovering around the office getting to know the company and his new human colleagues,” TUI says.

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