In May 2017, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, German technologists introduced a robotic priest. They christened it BLESS U-2.
It was a very rudimentary entry into the burgeoning field of robotics: you pushed a button and received a spoken blessing. The designers’ goal, however, was much loftier than their creation suggested.
They wanted to spark a debate on whether machines might one day replace pastors and priests.
Much is spoken and written about automation, industry 4.0, smart cities and the like. Most of it struggles to keep up with developments in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
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