Eye of the Tiber hilarious as usual:
Prototype clergydroid Fr. SRT4–11392 celebrating its first wedding ceremony.
Vatican––The Vatican has confirmed reports today that an agreement has been reached with the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) to begin development of what they are calling “Clergydroids.” The news comes as relief to many seminary directors around the world that have seen their numbers plummet in the past few decades. “With so little priests and so many Catholics, this is going to help assure that every parish not only has a pastor of their own, but also an associate pastor,” Father Tobi Riland told the press earlier this morning. “I have had the pleasure of having a prototype absolve me of my sins. I’ll tell you one thing…he didn’t…excuse me, it didn’t forget the words of absolution!” One Vatican official, Monsignor Phillip Rudolph, who spearheaded the negotiations, told EOTT that “when you see those big, blue glowing eyes peering through the confessional grill at you, it feels as though they’re burning right through you. Seriously though…they freaking burn. Look at this burn mark on my throat. It’s a malfunction in the prototype that the IFR promise to resolve before their final launch next May.” Another issue with of the clergydroid prototype Fr. SRT4–11392 includes a recent frying of some of its mechanisms and kinematics after an altar boy attempted to pour water on the clergydroid’s titanium fingers. Witnesses say that Fr. SRT4–11392′s final words before catching fire were, “Lord, wash away my iniqui…iniqui…iniqui…iniqui. Oh, no…just when I was learning to love.”
Stories involving robots that have obtained intelligence have been SF staples over the years. As pure conjecture what would happen if an artificial creature was actually sentient? Then such a creature could come to know God. This could cause problems though (besides Baptism and having to be soaked in rice afterwards to avoid system failure.). I can easily imagine a Robot Ordination Conference upset that the Catholic Church will not ordain them. The horror of inequality and making robots second class citizens in the Church. Robots citing St. Paul There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” while perhaps wearing pant suits. No doubt we would have all the sympathetic story from the media about robots desiring ordination and the injustice of it all. Especially after the Episcopalian Priestbots.
While we are conjecturing about such Priestbots, how about programming them with the three laws ala Asimov.
The first law would obviously have to be “Say the black, do the red.”
Hey maybe just one law would be enough.
In reality though I am extremely skeptical of an artificial intelligence leading to actual sentience. Instead of AI I much prefer SF writer Mike Flynn’s term Artificial Stupidity (AS) as much more accurate term regarding programming of machines.