To someone like me, who is interested in the topics of death and technology, a programmable priest that can conduct funerals, might sound appealing, but I can assure you this does not, in any way, feel acceptable to me.
You may have experienced a funeral where the priest seems robotic, churning out prayers and readings, and at least a correctly programmed and automated machine, would not get the name of the deceased incorrect, or mispronounce any of the mourning family members' names!
I don't want this post to be too controversial, and I am not saying that priests are comparable to robots or that they lack integrity, but I am saying that anyone who leads a funeral service should have sincerity and compassion, and I am not sure that 'Pepper the robot' will be able to offer these qualities.
Watch this and make your own conclusion:
Robots appear now in many aspects of human life, and the technology that is used to offer companionship and practical assistance has already shown to be a benefit to many.
Whilst this idea offers a reduction in funeral costs, which is an important factor in decisions that are made by grieving families, there are other ways of keeping the costs lower, that do not lose the philanthropic support.
This blog post has been prompted by this article: