Sustainability Week 2018 Newsflash: Robot to assuage labour concerns

All South African industrial stakeholders – companies, professionals, workers, and unions – with an interest in the future of human labour under Industry 4.0, otherwise known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, are invited to meet Pepper the robot at Sustainability Week 2018.

Pepper is South Africa’s first client-friendly humanoid robot, recently unveiled at Nedbank’s digital-branch, the NZone, at the Gautrain station in Sandton. Pepper is set to become Nedbank’s newest client service champion in the pursuit of enriching the client experience.

Now Pepper will be joining other top speakers at the Industry 4.0 Workshop on 6 June at the CSIR ICC in Tshwane.

One of the biggest concerns of developing countries is that the conjunction of Artificial Intelligence and automation poses a threat to workers’ jobs. Quite simply, the fear is that workers will be automated out of existence.

By way of reassurance, Pepper quotes a recent report by the UN:

“First off, artificial intelligence, 3D printers and other innovations are generally designed to excel at a very specific set of tasks.” To master an entire occupations takes considerable.

“Secondly, new technologies not only destroy, but also create jobs.” Technological innovation has always enhanced productivity and created new products and markets, generating new jobs.

“Thirdly, just because it is technically feasible to substitute an entire profession with computers, does not mean it will happen. A variety of economic, legal, regulatory and socio-political factors will prevent many occupations from disappearing.”

A recent study found that by 2016, only one out of 270 occupations listed in the A 1950 US census found out of 270 occupations, automation had eliminated only one – elevator operator.

Meet Pepper at Sustainability Week 2018.

Register today at

Watch this video for a sneak preview: