Monday, February 27, 2023

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence, and How it Will Impact Christianity

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the rise in the US and around the world.

What is it?

Christians should be aware and informed because the use of it is being discussed within the Christian Church as a possible tool for extending the Lord's work---even for writing sermons for pastors.

This, the advocates say, would give pastors more time to do other things.

I'm not on board with that at all.

And here's why.

Be informed, not misled.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Here's a brief explanation

In computer terms, it’s the programming and development of machines and systems capable of using and interpreting information in a manner similar to the activities of a human. AI technologies are able to understand, analyze, and learn from data through specially designed algorithms, which are complex mathematical formulas and operations.

Types of artificial intelligence include deep learning, a branch of machine learning that employs sophisticated artificial neural networks inspired by the human nervous system to learn from data that doesn’t need to be structured (unlike machine learning), and natural language processing (NLP), a linguistic tool enabling machines to read and interpret human language.

AI is already in wide use.

AI capabilities are already being exploited, such as the ability to sift through vast amounts of data and make logical connections between past actions and different criteria. 

Other examples of  how artificial intelligence is already in play: 

  • Personalization of news feeds and automatic recognition of similar features in images on social media.
  • Product searching and recommendations on eCommerce platforms.
  • Voice-to-text conversion on smartphones and the use of artificial neural networks to power voice search.

AI is already impacting our world.

From an article titled, "Leveraging Technology to Make an Impact" we learn:

AI tools have the power to reshape the world on every level, and realizing their full potential requires mobilizing a broad range of disciplines. Determining how technology can best serve, support, and care for society in a hyper-connected world requires global insight. With students from all five schools tackling projects ranging from researching machine learning algorithms that allow autonomous drones to “think” to employing predictive analytics that optimize robot maintenance, MIT is able to explore new approaches for ethical AI with urgency.

About "ethical "AI

AI does indeed possess the power to reshape the world. Not only does it tell you what to think, but it also teaches you how to think.

It conforms people to its system or worldview.

Kyle Becker notes that President Biden is already using AI: 

A Biden Executive Order paves the way for 'Woke' Artificial Intelligence with 'Godlike' totalitarian power.

It is called the "Executive Order on Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government." It appears that what the presidential action will really advance is more government control and policing over free speech.

"The executive order contains a disturbing clause that could ensure that Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms are as 'Woke' as the now-infamously biased AI bot ChatGPT."

Buried within the social justice verbiage and progressive jargon of a Biden executive order on “diversity” and equity” is a glimpse of the totalitarian future that elites have planned for the world.

He concludes:

In the executive order's section under "Embedding Equity into Government-wide Processes," the Director of the Office of Management and Budget is instructed, "to support equitable decision-making, promote the equitable deployment of financial and technical assistance, and assist agencies in advancing equity, as appropriate and wherever possible." The phrase that follows is a trojan horse for the radical left's agenda:

When designing, developing, acquiring, and using artificial intelligence and automated systems in the Federal Government, agencies shall do so, consistent with applicable law, in a manner that advances equity.

The implementation of the executive order would entail a "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion" (DEI) board that would supervise the rollout of AI bots across the country in order to recruit them into the Woke army.

BBC: "God and robots: Will AI transform religion?"

BBC says, "Artificial intelligence is changing how we interact with everything, from food to healthcare, travel and also religion."

"Experts say major global faiths are discussing their relationship with AI, and some are starting to incorporate this technology into their worship. Robot priests can recite prayers, deliver sermons, and even comfort those experiencing a spiritual crisis," they report.

They are asking, "Can IT truly transform how people experience faith?" They think it probably can. And will.

CNBC has weighed in on the matter: "Technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are fashioning how people interact with everything from food to healthcare — and so, too, for religion.

NBC's business channel concluded they are not sure of the outcome of bots leading religious services, but noted how helpful it could be for Muslims in the practice of their faith. 

What about Evangelicals and conservative Christians?

Lifeway, an evangelical-based organization, begins its article with this:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and conversational agents, like ChatGPT, have been transforming various industries and professions, including the religious sector. For pastors and churches, AI technology can be a game-changer, enhancing their ability to connect with and support their congregants.

However, the adoption of artificial intelligence in the church also raises concerns about the potential loss of human connection, ethical issues surrounding the use of AI, and the need for churches to adapt to the changing landscape of technology. 

Then the Lifeway writer, Aaron Earls asks, "Can I be honest?"

"I didn't write those two paragraphs," he says. "I asked ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot that responds to questions and prompts from users, to write a lead to an article about how it and AI could be beneficial but also problematic for pastors and the church."

He, apparently, did write this himself:

"Churches have long used technology to help spread their message, but they’ve often not thought about how the new medium shapes (and distorts) that message. With the expansion and advancement of virtual reality tech, some congregations have opened digital campuses in an early version of the metaverse."

"The issue of artificial intelligence is a live question that will only become more pressing for pastors, parents, and society as a whole. Some churches are already implementing a form of AI to help track attendance, identify guests, and help with security. More than likely AI is affecting your life right now without you even realizing it."

"A recent Associated Press story asked pastors their thoughts on using AI chatbots like ChatGPT to craft sermons. Hershael York, a Kentucky pastor and professor of Christian preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, summed up the thoughts of most of the religious leaders: 'It lacks a soul – I don’t know how else to say it'.”

Lifeway suggests several ways  AI can help pastors:

  • First, AI technology can provide pastors with a vast amount of information and resources to draw from when preparing sermons.
  • Second, AI can help pastors save time and reduce the workload associated with preparing sermons. By using AI to automate some of the more time-consuming aspects of research and preparation, pastors can focus their efforts on other important aspects of their ministry, such as counseling, outreach, and community engagement.
  • Third, AI can provide a fresh perspective and new insights into biblical texts and themes.
  • Finally, AI can help pastors reach a broader audience by making their sermons more accessible. 


Most of the "helps" they suggest AI can give pastors are already available using the Internet.

AI "thinks" for you, and develops content and beliefs. The Internet merely provides information---often misleading.

I agree with the Southern Baptist pastors who feel AI "lacks a soul." But it does have a spirit. A spirit of darkness.

I believe this is one of those slippery slopes that would remove pastors from the call of God on their lives, and too many would become more and more dependent on Artificial intelligence.

It should give every pastor pause when they learn that George Soros is one of the primary investors in the push to integrate AI into every part of society. Including the Church.

The field of Machine Learning Fairness seeks to imprint AI programs with leftist assumptions and priorities. Following the money behind the leading organizations of ML Fairness leads to some familiar funding sources, including leftist billionaires Pierre Omidyar, George Soros, and Reid Hoffman.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful. Be Faithful.