Getty Images / Charles Pertwee

SoftBank-IBM Partnership Could Make Robots Better At Human Emotions

IBM will lend its Watson cognitive computing muscle to SoftBank's approachable Pepper robot.

By Evan Thomas | January 7, 2016

At this year's CES trade show, SoftBank and IBM said they'd work together to make SoftBank's Pepper robot smarter.

SoftBank brings Pepper — which recognizes and responds to emotions —

and IBM brings its Watson technology, which rolls together language processing and machine learning. (Video via IBM)

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"Watson can understand unstructured data, which is 80 percent of data today: all of the information that is produced primarily by humans for other humans to consume," according to an explanatory video about IBM's Watson tech. (Video via IBM)

Watson's knowledge of context and social cues could help Pepper better understand language and gestures. (Video via Aldebaran Robotics)

SoftBank and IBM envision Pepper as a teaching assistant or nursing aide, or working in self-service and retail environments.

A launch date hasn't been set, but expect a lot of interest. Since Pepper went on sale in Japan last June, it's sold out every month. (Video via Aldebaran Robotics)

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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