In a recent report, a robot priest has been unveiled in Germany, delivering blessings in five different languages.Though blessing the congregation is one of the duties of the church staff, the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau has reassigned that task to a new friend by the name, called BlessU-2.
The robot-priest BlessU-2 was made in honor of the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It's the work of a team from the Protestant Church of Hesse and Nassau, led by clergyman Stephan Krebs. It is surely going to raise some eyebrows, however, that is by design. The robot is supposedly controversial. Krebs explained "We wanted people to consider if it is possible to be blessed by a machine,"
When people approach BlessU-2, it first gives a series of choices. People can decide which language you to speak, whether they would prefer a "male" or "female" voice, and also what type of blessing people would like to hear about. More so, the robot priest is part of an exhibition to mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation which spread all over Europe after Martin Luther's radical calls for church reform. Moreover, BlessU-2 will minister to the public until September. In its first week, it already handed out more than 600 blessings, keeping the robot so busy it sometimes needs to be cooled by a fan.
On the other note, BlessU-2 could be the first robot which has been assigned to give blessings to Christians, however not the first time that artificial intelligence has been carried out in the religious world.
Interestingly, last year, a Buddhist temple located in China developed a monk robot to advocate the religion's "wisdom" in a modern way. With a shaved head and wearing a yellow robe and complete the 'buddha-bot', it also features a touchscreen on his chest.