Japanese scientists have reprogrammed a robot to recite and perform funeral rites. People can hire and use the robot when a Buddhist priest is not available.
A company in Japan has introduced a new role for SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper. The robot is programed to be a Buddhist priest for hire at funerals. It chants sutras in a computerized voice while tapping a drum.
@alliembltlfrong A ROBOT BUDDHIST PRIEST in Japan can now perform funeral rites – The Indian Express https://t.co/3VjruU2MXW
— Charles M. Hatfield (@thehatfield) August 30, 2017
— Kandarapu Laxmamma (@Kandarapulaxmi) August 28, 2017
It cost less than 50,000 yen (about $450) per funeral compared to more than 240,000 yen ($2,200) for a human priest.
With Japan’s population ageing and shrinking, many Buddhist priests receive less financial support from their communities, prompting some to find part-time work outside their temple duties.
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