Sure, why not?
Asking whether you want to be blessed by a male or female voice, this robot “priest” in the historic town of Wittenberg (where Martin Luther’s famous Ninety-five Theses was published) is called “BlessU-2” and was developed by the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau. It will even print out a handy blessing for you to keep in your pocket or perhaps on your fridge.
Not surprisingly, BlessU-2 was sort of conceived by the church to attract more believers (spectators?) to the Faith. As church spokesman Sebastian von Gehren commented: “It is an experiment that is supposed to inspire discussion.”
So: not a real priest. More like that robot who served drinks to Paulie in Rocky IV.
If an AI can be trained to effectively comfort people—as in the case with “therapist” Ellie who I covered in an earlier post—then is it so out of the realm of possibility that we won’t one day have robot priests?
A robot priest might even be a better “true believer” than a human priest…if programmed just right.
Robopriest in action:
More to read about on Butterfly Language:
Ellie The “Virtual Therapist” Will Always Be There To Listen
Toyota Unveils “Robot Baby”
Disney’s “Human Safe” Robot