Volume Ltd and Pepper the robot visit Queen Anne’s
Friday 12th October 2018
On Friday 5 October, Queen Anne’s girls were treated to an inspiring talk by Hannah, Gemma, Anna, and Pepper the robot, from Volume Ltd.
Volume Ltd is a multi award winning technology agency, which specialises in the development of artificial intelligence (AI), in particular virtual reality/alternative reality (VR/AR), robots, and conversational artificial intelligence platforms. Queen Anne’s students were particularly excited that Volume had brought along Pepper, their in-house AI robot.
Our guests began their talk by explaining how they acquired their positions at Volume Ltd, and the importance of transferrable skills. Hannah revealed that she had actually studied a degree in French and German, but progressed through various management roles to become AI Consultant at Volume Ltd.
Gemma, Volume’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), originally completed a degree in Graphic Design, but after a rather unenjoyable work experience placement, decided to delve into other ways in which she could use her skills. She joined Volume within a client services role, and her creativity and passion for technology led her to the high profile role she holds today.
Throughout the talk, Pepper’s eyes would follow each person speaking, and would sometimes make comments such as ”how interesting” and “amazing!”.
Although AI is sometimes portrayed as dangerous and unknown in media and films (“So scary!” remarks Pepper), we actually use AI a lot more often than we realise. Some examples of every day AI use are chat bots, Siri and Alexa, and facial recognition.
Many worry that AI will take away human jobs, however, our Volume Ltd speakers revealed that, for the most part, this is not true, particularly for jobs that require creative skills and human empathy.
Anna, who plays a key role in coding and developing Pepper the robot, explained to us how important it is for more women to become involved in tech industries. Not only is it vital that the imbalance between men and women working in the tech industry is changed, but, if new apps and AI are being built by mostly men, they will have a strong bias to what and how men think, which could have a harmful effect on users.
Anna went on to explain a bit more about how she uses python code to create Pepper the robot’s personality. She showed everyone how each of Pepper’s gestures was coded in a set of scripts, and the girls had fun making Pepper dance, play golf, and act like a gorilla!
Our guests from Volume Ltd gave some very useful advice about working in technology as women. They were extremely impressed that, when asked, over 75% of Queen Anne’s students at their talk would like to work in technology, and that our Sixth Form students are already getting to grips with python code.
A huge thank you to Gemma, Hannah, Anna and Pepper for visiting Queen Anne’s School to speak to and inspire our girls about working in tech.