Robots in Japan Are Now Buddhist Priests

It seems there is literally no job that is safe from the rising tide of automation, including those who guide us into the afterlife.

At the curiously named “Life Ending Industry” funereal services convention in Japan on Wednesday, a plastics firm called Nissei Eco showed off a version of SoftBank’s Pepper robot that it had coded to chant traditional Buddhist funeral prayers, Reuters reported.

Pepper has tried its hand at a range of jobs so far, including store greeterhome companionmarketeer, and waiter. But with its high-pitched and robotic voice, Pepper sounds more like something you’d expect to hear in the background of a Radiohead song than at the services to reverently send off those who have died.

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