If you think that robots taking over each and every sphere of human life is a far-fetched dream out of a sci-fi movie, then think twice because AI is already here and it found its way into none other than human religion. Yes, you read that right! A robotic priest is performing the duties of a human one and, according to sources, he’s doing a pretty good job, and no one is complaining so far. As you might have already guessed, the country that is so open to new technological advancements is Japan. Here are a few details about the new AI religion and how it came to be.
Mindar is a new priest at Kodaiji, one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Kyoto, Japan. He does everything other priests do – interacts with worshipers, performs sermons, and reads mantras. There’s only one catch – he’s made of metal, silicone, and doesn’t carry a beating human heart.
This $1-million-dollar machine looks like Kannon, the Buddhist deity of Mercy, and doesn’t have an AI just yet. For now the robotic priest just reads the pre-programmed sermon about the Heart Sutra and can’t impress the worshippers with something more. Although, the creators of the robot assure that soon enough they will install the AI that will give the priest necessary learning capabilities and, eventually, he’ll be able to interact with worshippers on a deeper level.
Tensho Goto, the chief steward of the temple, is sure the robotic priest will revolutionize Buddhism and give it a fresh start. The robot is ought to help people overcome their troubles, sharing his never-ending AI wisdom with them. As the religion is on its decline, he’s sure a robot like that will help attract people and revive their interest in spirituality.