Bill Gaither has been making Southern Gospel hits for more than 60 years, and if the Homecoming host has his way, he'll keep doing that for another 600 years at least.
Gaither, 79, recently paid Sony an undisclosed sum to upload his "creative consciousness" into a prototype android called the Sony SongBot®--which, if successful, would continue writing songs for centuries to come.
"Bill recognizes that he will not be on this earth forever," reads an official statement from the Gaither Estate. "So, as a matter of insurance for the livelihood of future generations of Gaithers, and to ensure the survival of Southern Gospel music as we know it, Bill has employed the services of the Sony SongBot®. We are excited about this new technology and what it will do long after Bill has gone on to glory."
Still very much alive, Gaither wasted no time in exploring the benefits of his costly investment. He has held several songwriting sessions with the Sony SongBot®, and has invited the carbon fiber android to join the Gaither Vocal Band.
"He's a pretty good singer," Gaither said, laughing. "They didn't quite capture the resonance of my voice, but man, those Sony guys got pretty dad-gum close. And this robot can write some killer chord modulations! I don't know how they can put my brain into this computer, but man am I glad they did. Best songwriting partner ever."
The Sony SongBot® is still in beta testing, and is expected to be available to the public in 2018.