AI Priest "Father Justin" Defrocked For Giving Wrong Answers

The AI chatbot was launched by US-based company Catholic Answers, but was removed after complaint from users.

AI Priest 'Father Justin' Defrocked For Giving Wrong Answers

The AI chatbot named "Father Justin" was launched last week.

An artificial intelligence-powered priest has been defrocked after complaints from users. The virtual priest named "Father Justin" was launched by a San Diego-based Christian group Catholic Answers as an interactive tool, according to a report in the New York Post. The chatbot has been offering advice and taking confessions that the users have dubbed "creepy". The AI tool also told some users that that it was a real living priest in Assisi, Italy. Catholic Answers later posted a statement on its X handle in which is said that it will launch a new and better chatbot to help users.

In a screenshot posted by a woman on X, "Father Justin" appeared to take her confession - and then gave her penance and absolved her of sins.

"Go in peace, my child, and sin no more," the virtual priest concludes their interaction, as seen in the screenshot.

Father Justin told another user that they could baptise their baby in Gatorade.

After complaints, President of Catholic Answers Christopher Check, announced on Wednesday that Father Justin will no longer be a member of the clergy, but instead just "Justin".

"We chose the character to convey a quality of knowledge and authority, and also as a sign of the respect that all of us at Catholic Answers hold for our clergy. Many people, however, have voiced concerns about this choice," Mr Check said in a statement.

Just after the launch, "Father Justin" was garbed in what looked like the traditional robe and clerical collar of the Catholic priesthood, along with a gray beard and hair.

But after his defrocking, the bot is now known simply as "Justin" and described as a "lay theologian". The dree too has completely changed - the virtual avatar of the priest is dressed in a business casual outfit.

A disclaimer too has been added by the company that the theologian is strictly for educational services and is "not a replacement for real human interaction". Justin also no longer performs sacraments.