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Robot 'Minister' Performs Wedding Ceremony

Tiro the robot will assist at the civil wedding ceremony for engineer Seok Gyeong-Jae and his bride in South Korea today. It is believed that this is the first time that a robot has acted as master of ceremonies for a wedding.


(Seok Gyeong-Jae, bride and Tiro the Robot 'Minister')

In South Korea, a couple can hold a wedding ceremony in any location, but must register it with authorities before it becomes legal. Since Tiro the robot has no religious authority, Tiro is being referred to as a master of ceremonies.

When the ceremony is completed, Tiro will receive upgrades to allow its use in other circumstances, according to Hanool Robotics official Kim Dae-Hyun.

If a robot can act as a master of ceremonies at a wedding, why shouldn't it also be able to perform other duties performed by human ministers?

"I think having a robot minister is a great idea," said Bill Ingraham, pastor at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ann Arbor, MI. "In some cases, it might be an improvement."

Science fiction authors have already introduced the idea of robots as spiritual leaders and guides. In his 1971 story Good News From The Vatican, writer Robert Silverberg tells the story of a robot cardinal who might one day become pope.

This is the morning everyone has waited for, when at last the robot cardinal is to be elected Pope. There can no longer be any doubt of the outcome... a compromise is in the making. All factions are now agreed on the selection of the robot. This morning I read in Osservatore Romano that the Vatican computer itself has taken a hand in the deliberations. The computer has been strongly urging the candidacy of the robot. I suppose we should not be surprised by this loyalty among machines...

"Every era gets the Pope it deserves," Bishop Fitzpatrick observed somewhat gloomily today at breakfast. "The proper Pope for our times is a robot, certainly..."
(Read more about Silverberg's robot pope)

Clifford Simak wrote on a similar theme in his 1981 novel Project Pope.


(Project Pope by Clifford Simak [cover])

Via Robot Wedding 'MC".

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/16/2007)

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