We're willing to bet that, in the broad pool of unconscious stereotypes, samurai and robots are two of the first things to come to mind when someone thinks of Japan. Well, as luck would have it, they've been combined in the form of--yes--a samurai robot.

Or a robot samurai, take your pick!


Source: YouTube

In a twist that might surprise you, this samurai robot, dubbed AI-Samurai, carries no sword and isn't used for badass activities like precision cutting or combat. Instead, artificial intelligence researchers at Nextremer to converse with humans and provide them with information. In particular, AI-Samurai was originally designed to assist visitors at events and conferences around the world, sort of as a robotic help desk (with a cool helmet) to provide information about the venue and navigation.

A.I. Galleria: Facial recognition system


Source: Nextremer

Equipped with an AI system called "A.I. Galleria", the feudal robot is equipped with facial recognition that allows it to identify people by portrait image and voice. It's using this system that AI-Samurai will pursue conversation with human partners, starting with the SXSW Interactive 2016 event.

While AI-Samurai loves to chat, it also is designed to help convention-goers


Source: YouTube

What seems to separate AI-Samurai from other robots in Japan such as Pepper and Robi, is that it is designed to actively pursue conversation. Upon engaging a human, AI-Samurai will suggest topics of conversation and implement interactive features such as quizzes and games to continue discussion. It even has a "What Japanese feudal lord are you?" quiz based on a series of questions it asks you!

AI-Samurai is programmed to initiate and guide conversation


Source: YouTube

It even gives you personality quizzes


Source: YouTube

The following promotional video shows off AI-Samurai's conversation and assistance skills. While it may have a way to go, it's fascinating to see a robot that doesn't rely on a predominantly response-based mechanism, and will actually push to explore conversation with you. If you see AI-Samurai at a convention, be sure to try and talk to it--you may end up chatting longer than you intended!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.