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Computer Marries Texas Couple 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the robotic-minister-overlords dept.
cultiv8 writes "When Miguel Hanson and his fiancee, Diana Wesley, got married on Saturday, a computer program Hanson wrote served as the minister. During the wedding, held in the Houston home of Hanson's parents, the couple stood before a 30-inch monitor in the backyard. In a robotic voice, the computer greeted the guests, and told how the couple met."
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Computer Marries Texas Couple

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  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@di[ ]alfreaks.org ['git' in gap]> on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:19AM (#36944068)
    FTFA: "The ceremony won't be legally binding."

    My wife and I are already legally married, but our ceremony isn't for a few months. We could be "married by" a parrot. Or an iPod. Or no one at all. Or, as is the case here, Dr. Sbaitso.

    • Re:So? (Score:4, Funny)

      by physicsphairy (720718) on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:30AM (#36944120) Homepage

      Yes, but being able to blame Windows for your marital problems adds a wonderful degree of consistency to the topic of 'things which cause strife and misery.'

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        It would have been funnier if it had been an Apple, then the husband would have a reason for saying "Honey you're holding it wrong".

        I just don't get why this is considered "news" as this is about as real and legally binding as the Japanese guy that "married" his love pillow. I'd say the only thing that could be considered "news" was that there was a woman willing to put up with his robo-bullshit, and even then it is only news to the guy's family (who are probably on their knees thanking whatever deity the

        • by dintech (998802)

          the only thing that could be considered "news" was that there was a woman willing to put up with his robo-bullshit

          As the right honorable Reverend Lionel Preacherbot [theinfosphere.org] said:

          The bride has written some vows that we will now all pretend to be interested in.

          She's probably just looking forward to boring the shit out of the 'people gathered here today' with her inane vows.

          • by plover (150551) *

            Let's just hope that it's the Reverend's program marrying them and not Eliza:

            "Why do you feel like you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?"

            • by Creepy (93888)

              lol - Eliza is exactly what I thought about when I saw this. ...
              "Yes"

              Eliza: "Why so assertive all of a sudden?"

              "You're supposed to say 'and do you take this man as your lawfully wedded husband?'"

              Eliza: "Why do you think I should say that"

              "Because it is in the goddamned script!"

              Eliza: Please don't swear.

        • So it's about as "real and legally binding" as any marriage in a church too then? Isn't any "marriage" only legally binding when you sign the contract?

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday August 01, 2011 @02:10AM (#36944264) Journal

      Okay, I know it is scary for a nerd but still, you can't put the "ceremony" off forever. Sooner or later you ARE going to have to kiss the bride AND even face the wedding night. Just close your eyes and think of the GPL.

      Married man walking!

    • I always found the coolest geek insult was: "I can replace you with this (hold out thumb and index finger) much code".

      I've done it a couple of times too in my career.
      But I must admit that I never had the guts to say it to the face of the people I made obsolete...

    • by dintech (998802)

      I think Dr Sbaitso was the only doctor that ever actually listened to me. Sad really.

    • You're missing the important bit of the headline. It was in Texas. That's right, they have computers in Texas now!
      • by Tolkien (664315)
        Well dang! You mean they don't get their work done through prayer now? Progress! Whodathunkit?
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Then will the next week in his parents basement be considered a real honeymoon?

    • by bberens (965711)
      My understanding is that the ceremony is almost never legally binding. In most states you need a notary and witnesses for the paper contract/license. The paper is the legally binding part. The "I do's" are just for show.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        But you need an officiant to sign the license as well, and ministers/priests like to make you go through the ceremony.

        In my opinion, when you go get the marriage license, and they do the little bit of background checking they bother with (asking your witness whether you're related to your future spouse), that should be considered the legal marriage. What you do afterward is up to you.

  • Prompt (Score:5, Funny)

    by atari2600a (1892574) on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:21AM (#36944076)
    Do you accept the terms & conditions of this matrimony? : _
  • For a minute, just reading the title, I thought a computer had been married to a Texas couple. Given what some folks tried (and fortunately, now seem to have failed) to put creationism in their school textbooks, I thought this might be the next step. And then we'd see a couple marry their blender. :-)
  • by nebaz (453974) on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:32AM (#36944134)

    Always taking jobs that American priests won't do.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      I was molested by my first Ultra SPARC 5 a decade ago.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        I was molested by my first Ultra SPARC 5 a decade ago.

        That's a lie: SPARC CPU-s were protestant of the puritan extraction (coming up in a CISC hedonistic era).

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        You should see what I was forced to do with punch cards as a boy... (shudder)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    cos his "wife" is a fucking android. (take that literally)

  • by backslashdot (95548) * on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:39AM (#36944168)

    Computer marriage is what's wrong with America and is leading to the very breakdown of social structure. Computer marriage, may appear harmless. But what happens when your kids have to see a guy walking down the street kissing his laptop? That's disgusting.

    Pretty soon they'll want computers in the military ... and we all know how that movie ends.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      It's Adam and Eve; not Osbourne and Steve!

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Pretty soon they'll want computers in the military ... and we all know how that movie ends.

      With World Peace! War ended when all the machines BSOD.

    • The computer only had a bit part in the movie, based on the nybble we got on YouTube. But I heard it took a huge byte of the awards later.

      (let the groaning begin)

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      And besides, if you read Genesis (the book, not the band), you know that all the problems in the world started from a woman getting too close to an Apple.

    • Anyone willing to spend $1700 for an Apple Laptop
      has to be doing more with it than just surfing the web and playing games right???
      *wink, wink, nudge nudge*

    • It's also an excellent chance to patent marriage. Because now it's on a computer.
  • by mcrbids (148650) on Monday August 01, 2011 @01:43AM (#36944182) Journal

    This guy is either rich, or she has Asperger's. Else, how else could the conversation go?

    He: "I got it! The perfect wedding! We get married by a computer!"

    She: "Should we go with blue or white?"

    He: "But, the computer would marry us!"

    She: "Should we go with lacy, or silky?"

    He: "The computer should run Linux!"

    She: "I think I like lacy more than silky..."

    He: "I could even have it running LISP!"

    She: "You want to have a preacher with a lisp? What the HELL are you thinking!?"

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      This guy is either rich, or she has Asperger's. Else, how else could the conversation go?

      He: "I got it! The perfect wedding! We get married by a computer!"

      She: "Should we go with blue or white?"

      He: "But, the computer would marry us!"

      She: "Should we go with lacy, or silky?"

      He: "The computer should run Linux!"

      She: "I think I like lacy more than silky..."

      He: "I could even have it running LISP!"

      She: "You want to have a preacher with a lisp? What the HELL are you thinking!?"

      I predict that his and hers computers will be necessary.

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        His and hers? No, she gets all the closet space, and he gets all the RAM.
    • by borrel (2416350)
      lol
    • "Else, how else..."?!?

      Is there no dignity left over for the language I used to know? Marry the robot...

  • Cue the Futurama theme song!

    • Walking down the isle [reference.com]

      1. The word is "aisle [reference.com]"
      2. The main approach to the altar is, more accurately, "the nave [wikipedia.org]", not "the aisle". Most people would know what you meant well enough though.
      HTH HAND

      • by krizoitz (1856864)

        You might want to read the article you link to before declaring so boldly that you know something. Actually the nave is the entire area of the church preceding the altar, not merely the central aisle, but also the pews and exterior aisles.

        Next time you try and show off how clever you are you may want to make sure you are right first.

        • Heh, yeah, I was imparting a silly factoid, not trying to be clever. Maybe I should have worded it differently. Hell the whole thing is moot anyway, because they got "married" in their damn garden. But the "aisles", as labelled on many "Welcome to X church/cathedral" pamphlets e.g Chicester IIRC, always seem not to be part of the nave. Regardless, "Central Passageway" is probably most correct to describe "that bit of the church up which the bride walks", but is a bit of a mouthful. You're right, I didn't re
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Isle be back...

      • Walking down the isle [reference.com]

        1. The word is "aisle [reference.com]"

        2. The main approach to the altar is, more accurately, "the nave [wikipedia.org]", not "the aisle". Most people would know what you meant well enough though.

        HTH HAND

        How dare you correct his English, you knave.

        • How dare you correct his English, you knave.

          Yes! I have been speaking English handsomely since I was twice! ;D

  • You are about to engage in something that is the chief cause of divorce.

    [Cancel] or [Allow]
  • Last time I visited there's just a couple of posts with very few reader feedback and now this place is just crowded! Way to go man. Nice article, btw ;) Shaw Capital Management Online [shawcapita...online.com]
  • I suppose they are married until blue screen of death do them part...

  • I consider this as one of the saddest pieces of news this monday morning...

  • The terms of service aren't all that far away from what is normal for using a computer.
    Take apples terms of service, change a few nouns here and there (Itunes -> your spouse Apple -> your in-laws) and it is actually a lot more factual than wedding vows. Some key exerpts below:

    Maybe there would be less complaints if you knew that by opening the package you are agreeing to:

    REQUIREMENTS FOR USE OF your spouse
    Your spouse is available for individuals aged 13 years or older. If you are 13 or olde
  • I followed the link in the article but can't find the software anywhere... Is it open source? Does it run on Linux? :)
  • ....is a Scientologist??

  • The couple wrote the 'computer program' to marry them on their own background, I suppose it was just a document that was read by a voice generator, or something of that sort. But they did it because they couldn't find a minister to do the work, but they will still have to have 'justice of the peace' sign the papers. This brings up a good question: why not automate this type of work away and cut some spending this way? Start small, with computer program marrying and signing licenses for couples, then move o

    • by kenh (9056)

      This brings up a good question: why not automate this type of work away and cut some spending this way? Start small, with computer program marrying and signing licenses for couples, then move on to the traffic violations and petty infractions, landlord/tenant disputes, small debts and other small claims, then misdemeanors and restraining orders, etc.

      What do you imagine happens when you mail in your check/admit guilt to a traffic violation?

      A civil marriage takes about 5 minutes, what would you gain from au

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        A civil marriage takes about 5 minutes, what would you gain from automation?

        - efficiency. Fewer people are required in total, because 5 minutes time means what, 12 certificates an hour with highest human efficiency? I don't think it takes 5 minutes BTW., it easily will take 20 minutes for sure. Why does it take that long? Fill out the form on line and have it done automagically in microseconds, then the certificate is printed and sent out, all automated.

        The fewer humans are involved in everything that government does, the less spending is required, and even if 100 architects/devel

        • One of the reasons to have a person involved is to ensure that both parties are actually willing participants and reduce the likelihood that one of them is being coerced. Another problem with doing small claims online is that it would become too easy for someone to fake that the defendant in the case had "appeared" in court and admitted the debt, when in fact they were unaware that the case was even taking place. This has significant consequences for the defendant if they ever have to challenge the judgemen
          • The other thing is that even in front of a JP, there has to be a certain amount of human witnesses (who also sign the marriage certificate). Otherwise anyone can claim that they are "married" when they legally haven't signed the paperwork as opposed to "common-law" marriages which the couples have fewer rights.
  • by glwtta (532858)
    So Texas legalized both human-computer marriage and polygamy? Didn't see that coming.
    • by kenh (9056)

      Wow - did you even read the heading on the story? "Computer marries couple" - no one married a computer, and if you read the article (it wasn't much longer than your comment) you would have learned that the groom actually performed the service, the computer simply read the vows - they still need a justice of the peace to sign the paperwork.

      They used a computer because they couldn't convince a friend to 'officiate' over the ceremony... I wonder who they got to witness the 'blessed' non-event?

      • by arielCo (995647)

        I think he meant a joke by choosing another sense of "marry":

        1. (intransitive) To enter into the conjugal or connubial state; to take a husband or a wife

        as in "Johnny married Jane, then the computer married them both and the three were happy ever after". Then again, not much of value was lost.

      • by glwtta (532858)
        Thanks. It all makes so much more sense now.

        I just feel silly for assuming that Texas legalized polygamy and human-computer marriage.
    • by painehope (580569)
      We do some pretty wild shit down here, boy!
  • Clearly the Republicans were right when they pointed out that gay marriage was a slippery slope. Now we have two people married to a computer?!
  • by Jaro (4361)

    ... oh wait, this is /.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Then by the 110VAC power vested in me...

  • There was a ULC minister doing this thirty years ago. Google: "ron jaenisch" "reverend apple"

  • ... contemplate pressing Esc as they approached the altar?

  • Accomplishing that task does not require "writing a program". From recording your own audio, to presentation video etc, or using a voice-synth even, the problem doesn't demand such an involved solution as writing a program. If that guy was a programmer, he would know that. I call shenanigans.
    • Accomplishing that task does not require "writing a program". From recording your own audio, to presentation video etc, or using a voice-synth even, the problem doesn't demand such an involved solution as writing a program. If that guy was a programmer, he would know that. I call shenanigans.

      He probably had elaborate exception handling done: what if the bride says, "No". What if he said no? What if someone in the audience speaks up instead of forever staying silent? What if the bride tripped on her dress and fell.... Seriously, there are an endless list of exceptional circumstances to consider, definitely worthy of a program!

  • I'm supposed to take a drink now.
  • I've signed marriage certificates (in Texas) for myself and my ex-wife, a lesbian couple (no shit - they actually claimed some benefits and didn't get challenged...I suppose that because the amount of benefits they received was very small, the IRS decided that it wasn't worth challenging or finding out what state they were married in; as a side note, the marriage certificates here [at least at the time I performed the wedding] don't even ask the sex of the people getting married, though you have to show ID

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