As part of a celebration to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a church in Germany has created a robot priest.
Dubbed 'BlessU-2,' the religious robot is the brainchild of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau and aims to challenge churchgoers thinking about the nature of spirituality and technology.
The remarkable machine can recite Bible verses and bestow blessings upon parishioners in five different languages and also boasts the ability to beam light from its hands in what one would assume is to convey the power of prayer.
Stephan Krebs, an official with the church, told The Guardian that "we wanted people to consider if it is possible to be blessed by a machine, or if a human being is needed."
According to him, while BlessU-2 has been enthusiastically embraced by visitors to the church, regular attendees have expressed concern that the robot is an unsettling glimpse of a world where machines may replace human clergy.
To that end, he stressed that a robot could never adequately fill the shoes of a human priest and that BlessU-2 constitutes an attempt to "see if we can bring a theological perspective to a machine."
Considering concerns regarding an eventual robot uprising taking over the planet, perhaps the church can find a way to ensure that the machines abide by the commandment 'thou shalt not kill.'
Source: The Guardian