Tech in Action: A lecture from a bot

Watson-powered "AiMEN" has The Young Pope send context-relevant bible verses to sinners.

The Young Pope has already been a bit of a sensation on social media, with Jude Law’s Pope Pius XIII smoking, wearing sunglasses and winking at the camera, making it ripe for jokes and memes. But given the whole idea of the show is around a hip, cool leader of the Catholic Church, it’s appropriate someone would use some modern tech to promote the show on social.

Ahead of the series’ debut on French network Canal+, agency BETC created a bot under the name of Pius XIII powered by IBM Watson. “AiMEN,” as the bot has been dubbed, has an in-depth knowledge of every single bible verse, and has been sending them to people on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as replies to their tweets and comments.

While the titular Young Pope is modern and different from the pontiffs we are used to seeing on the news (and something the video explaining the bot goes to great lengths to drive home), anyone who has seen the show also knows he’s also a bit of a jerk, spending much of the series trying to make the church even more conservative than his predecessors. So it also makes sense that the bot reaches out and lectures people (whether they ask for it or not) on everything from cursing at strangers to bragging about their workout to ordering pizza for themselves.