Robots

Computer officiates wedding, signals beginning of robot rule

Aug. 1, 2011 at 1:53 PM ET

Any literate Luddite can write his own wedding vows — and not endanger the future of humankind. Instead, Miguel Hanson wrote his own minister.

Unable to get a friend to preside over Saturday's nuptials for him and fiance Diana Wesley, the Houston web developer and IT consultant went and coded a virtual minister named "Rev. Bit."

AP /
Miguel Hanson, right, kisses his fiancee Diana Wesley by the computer that will soon rule us all.

"We're both friends of the computer. So it's kind of like our best friend is still marrying us," Wesley told the Associated Press. "The computer is a huge part of our lives, so why not be a huge part of this?" 

Wesley, 30, a high school sign language teacher, and Hanson, 33, met on the Sweet on Geeks dating site — which seems about right. (Why, it's as if a computer wanted them to meet ... )

The couple claim to have a shared interest over science fiction and fantasy, yet there is no mention of cyberpunk, which could explain why they figured a computer minister is perfectly safe. "That's kind of our thing," Wesley said. "In fact, my maid of honor, she's making my cake and she's making it with Nerds as the topping and not icing. That's kind of the theme, the geeked out wedding."

(Eat cakes made of colorful candy while you can, Houston lovebirds. Soon, our robot overlords will have us toiling in servo factories.)

With a voice reminiscent of one Dr. Stephen Hawking, Rev. Bit presided over the ceremony via 30-inch monitor — square face with oval glasses on one side of the screen, purportedly executing words written by Wesley and Hanson on the other. He's a bit less animated than Japan's "I-Fairy" robot which married a couple last year. But what he lacks in movement, he makes up for in danger-distracting humor.

"If anyone here has anything to say that might change their minds or has any objections, they do not want to hear it and I will not recognize your objections since Miguel has programmed me to only recognize his commands," Rev. Bit quipped to the approximately 30 wedding guests in Hanson's parents' back yard.

Leaving no room for Clippy to offer, "It looks like you're getting married..." the couple spoke their parts, reading from a smartphones, of course. Hanson prompted Rev. Bit to speak his parts via a wireless mouse in his pocket.

More ceremony than legally binding, Rev. Bit doesn't have the credentials to officially marry the couple — yet. Until the machines take over, the lovebirds must also to go to a human justice of the peace and sign some papers for that.

Going in, the couple had complete support from their friends over Rev. Bit — though not all family members were into it at first.  A couple members of the family were like, 'Really? A computer?'" Wesley said before the wedding. "I think once they see it. ... It's novel and so it's something they haven't seen."

Indeed. The video shows a glowing groom, a giggling bride standing before Rev. Bit's monitor — and your standard-issue teary-eyed guests — a must at any wedding. And who knows? Maybe all those wedding-presiding Elvis impersonators will be out of business as soon as someone programs that thing to sing.

Adorable? Sure, for now. But we all know how this ends.

More on the annoying way we live now:

Helen A.S. Popkin will take even the happiest story and make it about dystopia. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or FacebookAlso, Google+.

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