How would you feel if a robot was conducting the sermon while you were at church? I know I'd be a little weirded out, but I'd get over it after a few minutes because how cool is it to have a robot leading the sermon at church?
No, this isn't the plot of a post-apocalyptic science fiction movie, it's actually what's going down in some Japanese Buddhist temples. Due to Japan's shrinking and aging population, it's often difficult to come by Buddhist priests who are available to conduct religious ceremonies. Not only are Buddhist priests hard to come by because of the aging population in Japan, they're also hard to come by because of the fact that many priests have had to take up a second job just to make ends meat.
Pair all of that information with the fact that hiring a robotic priest is far cheaper than a human one ($2,200 for human vs. $350 for a robot), then you get Pepper the robot priest. See her in action in the video below.
OK, so Pepper isn't terribly emotive but she has been programmed to chant sutras while hitting a drum. But I guess she might come in handy if there aren't any priests available. The future really is now!