Robot Wedding

Did you happen to see this article over the weekend? It’s the story of two robotics experts in Japan getting married by a…robot!  Here’s a part of the story…

“The nuptials at this ceremony were led by “I-Fairy,” a 4-foot (1.5-meter) tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Sunday’s wedding was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to manufacturer Kokoro Co.”

“‘Please lift the bride’s veil,’ the robot said in a tinny voice, waving its arms in the air as the newlyweds kissed in front of about 50 guests.”

“The wedding took place at a restaurant in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo, where the I-Fairy wore a wreath of flowers and directed a rooftop ceremony. Wires led out from beneath it to a black curtain a few feet (meters) away, where a man crouched and clicked commands into a computer.”

I am assuming that this was a civil ceremony and not a religious one- but what does it say about our society that the door has been opened to be married by a robot?  What has happened to real interaction?

This reminded me of a story I read earlier this year about a robot named Roxxxy who is touted as the first sex robot (Read the article here).  A statement on the website for the developers of Roxxxy says…

“Our caring staff deliver to you the specific sex robot which best meets your specific requirements. Your robot will deliver the ultimate in robot sex. She will also be able to talk, listen, carry on a conversation, feel your touch and be your true friend. She can also have an orgasm when you touch her!”

While you may not get married by an I-Fairy or need the services of Roxxxy the Sexbot- how often are our interactions with others more robotic than human?  Are we more prone to offer a programmed response rather than take a risk and allow ourselves to be vulnerable in a relationship?  It is certainly safer to offer the pre-programmed responses, but are we sacrificing what truly makes us human- our ability to be in community with each other?

We do this on Facebook, Twitter and other social media as well when we use social media alone for our interaction.  It’s much easier and quicker to tell someone happy birthday on their Wall or send them a quick text message than to call them up on the phone and have a conversation.  We can often trade in real community and relationships for the imitation.

The image of the Trinity is the image of community. Father, Son and Holy Spirit in movement and interaction; giving and receiving.  Likewise, we are designed for community with God and with our neighbors.  As we go through our week- I challenge you (and myself) to make a phone call, meet for coffee and get personal rather than our programed, robotic responses that we can sometimes resort to.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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