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Tue., May 18, 2010, 4:53 a.m.

I do, he/she said mechanically…

May 17, 2010
Itsuo Inouye/AP
May 17, 2010 Itsuo Inouye/AP

Good morning, Netizens...

May 17, 2010

Picture Credit: Itsuo Inouye/AP

'I do,' she repeated robotically: Bride Satoko Inouye puts a ring on her groom Tomohiro Shibata as I-Fairy, a four-foot robot wearing a wreath of flowers, directs their wedding ceremony at a Tokyo restaurant. This was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to manufacturer Kokoro Co.

We're going to take yet another swing at organized religion this morning, having already muttered thickly to myself about gay Episcopal Bishops in the church. Here we have a tin can with wheels and a handful of robotic chips marrying people for fun and profit for its manufacturer. Who the hell ordained this robot? Is it even qualified to marry two people? Not to be old-fashioned or any such thing, but the next thing we're going to see is robotic judges and town clerks which, in some jurisdictions, are allowed to marry couples. Come to think of it, having robots as court judges might be a step upward, given the current precedents being tossed into play in Spokane by judges and barristers.

The great Isaac Asimov probably would chortle or perhaps even nod his head in approval at this event, having written the quintessential “I, Robot” a copy of which graces my humble library shelves. Despite the fact I have read the book several times over, and am enamored of Asimov's literary license, it does make me hesitant when I see the underlying premise put into action in my life despite the Rules of Robotics.

A few of my more fundamentalist friends, already brow feasting on the idea of gay Bishops in the Episcopalian faith, are doubtlessly up in arms over this marriage/non-marriage, as it seems that each religious faction has its own version of who can marry couples. Can a robot lawfully marry two people in these United States? I have no idea, but the thought does tantalize my sense of right and wrong.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.