Deus Ex Machina

„Would you like to print out your blessing?“

Bless U-2 offers automatic blessings in different languages (even in Hessisch which is a German accent) to the faithful and yes, it even beams lights from its hands!

The robot is an experiment and it was part of an art exhibition and it is supposed to trigger conversations about the ethics of human-machine interaction.

Despite the fact, that for me personally, the design/ the appearance of the robot falls into the uncanny valley and I am not interested in religion, this is interesting to me – as I am interested and research the social cognitions and attributions when humans interact with machines/computers. How, for example, is such a blessing from a robot perceived by humans? Can a robot give a blessing? And if not, why then can a human give a blessing? Whats the difference?

On Personality in Computer Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction

„The individual’s interaction with media – like computers, television and other media – is fundamentally social and fundamentally natural“

Additionally, I’d like to add another quote from their book „The media equation“, which I find is an important one:

„Personality can creep in everywhere – the language in error messages, user prompts, methods for navigating options and even choices of type font and layout. Even if the design domain is a twelve-character LCD panel, personality is relevant.“

Reeves, B. and Nass, C. (1996) The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places. P. 97

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