This German Pastor Bot Is Like an ATM for Religious Blessings

Shaunacy Ferro

In addition to writing screenplays, diagnosing health conditions, and brewing beer, artificial intelligence can now save your soul. BlessU-2 offers digital blessings, as New Atlas reports.

Created by German robotics engineer and enthusiast Alexander Wiedekind-Klein, it’s basically an ATM pastor. It can talk, but you operate it using a touch screen. You can choose one of seven different languages, whether you want a male or female voice (the Evangelical Church in Germany ordains women), and one of two styles of blessings. Then, the clunky 'bot raises its arms and recites a blessing at you drawn from 40 different Bible verses. When it’s done, you can choose to print out a version of what it said.

In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the beginning of the Reformation, the robot is handing out blessings at the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, in the German city of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther originally nailed his Theses to the doors of the Castle Church and sparked the Reformation. The installation is meant to provoke discussion about the role of automation in the modern world (including in church) and what exactly constitutes a blessing.

[h/t New Atlas]