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Robot becomes priest for a day

I-Fairy, a 4-foot-tall robot with plastic pigtails, presides over a wedding ceremony in Tokyo. Groom says he wishes the robot was "a little more clever."

Perhaps you, too, have attended weddings where you wanted to take the vicar, rabbi, or local government official presiding over the ceremony and bolt him to a chair.

Some very fortunate people in Tokyo can now tell you what that feels like. For, according to the Associated Press, 42-year-old robotics professor Tomohiro Shibata decided that there was only one who could officiate at his marriage to his stunning bride: I-Fairy.

Should you not be familiar with I-Fairy, it is a robot that has the moves of Michael Jackson and the voice of Glenda Jackson.

I-Fairy came into the world during a joint exercise between Kokoro Company and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science. Perhaps even they, though, could not imagine that this mere android would one day be uttering words like "just" or "impediment" before a fancily dressed throng.

The bride, 36-year-old Satoko Inoue, is an employee of Kokoro. As she explained the unusual nuptials to the AP: "I think that Japanese have a strong sense that robots are our friends. Those in the robot industry mostly understand this, but people mainly want robots near them that serve some purpose."

This is a remarkable analysis, and I myself have long felt that people mainly want people near them who serve some purpose.

Shibata, though, did offer some expressions of disappointment on his wedding day. "It would be nice if the robot was a bit more clever, but she is very good at expressing herself," he told the AP of I-Fairy.

In time, robots will, indeed, be a bit more clever. In time, you see, we will be marrying them.