AI theology is a blog that seeks to do theology in a world where Artificial Intelligence is increasingly becoming part of our lives. When you type a letter on the phone and 3 words are suggested, that’s AI. When you go to Amazon.com and see recommendations for new products you have not previously seen, that’s AI. When you ask Alexa about the weather or the latest sports scores, that’s AI. As this technology starts entering our lives, how will that shape our future? What does it mean to be human in a world where artificial intelligence is common place?
A year spent with Artificial Intelligence is enough to make one believe in God
No, we are not here to tell you the robots will overtake the world tomorrow. These scenarios, well-explored by science fiction, are not the point of this blog. Instead, we invite you to stop and reflect on the implications of AI for humanity. Theology is an ancient discipline that has been doing this type of reflection for centuries. This is possibly the greatest gift the Christian faith can offer our technology-rich world: namely to recover our ability to ponder. To dare to ask the “why” and “what for” of technology, is the beginning of the journey. More often than not, technological progress is taken for granted. It is not good or bad, it just is. There lies its power and biggest danger. For if we live in a world that fails to question the impact of AI, we are doomed to become like machines: automatons devoid of our God-given free will. Too extreme? Just think about how many times you checked your phone today without thinking. How many times have you entered the vortex of social media mindlessly only to wonder where has the last hour went?
With that said, the emergence of AI is not just a menace to be contained. There is much to cherish and celebrate in this ubiquitous display of human creativity. It carries echoes of a Creator. In a world filled with poverty and political unrest, well-directed AI offers a gateway for human flourishing. While it is not in itself the salvation for our ills, it can be a tool for creative problem-solving – providing income, mobility and hope to many. AI embodies the best of our humanity in amplifying our ability to process and make meaning out of information. Because of that, it can augment human capacities to unbound lengths. If guided into a meaningful direction, it can do much good.
AI for progress-sake is doomed from the start. AI in the service of human flourishing can have a great future.
Consider this blog a beginning point. The first round of a conversation that is informed and shaped by action. What good is to have a dialogue if it fails to yield concrete outcomes? An embodied theological view of AI must share its findings generously and empower others to act. Check back here for more developments in that front. Also, come back for further reflections, videos, blogs and learning tools on the topic.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment on any blog or contact us directly.