Since the launch of ChatGPT 3 in the fall of 2022, there has been widespread panic and concern over the implications of artificial intelligence (AI). Renowned inventors, business leaders, and AI experts have been expressing their fears through signed letters and op-eds, warning of the potential doomsday for humanity. Governments have also joined the discussion, calling for new regulations to address the risks associated with AI. However, Christians have a different perspective on this matter. Instead of succumbing to the negative hype, Christians should feel hopeful about AI and see it as just the latest technology for sharing the Good News.
Contrary to popular belief, AI is not a new concept. The term “AI” has been around since the 1950s, and AI tools have been deployed in various areas of our daily lives, such as voice assistants, email spam filters, and TV show recommendations. Christians should be aware that AI still has a long way to go before it reaches anything close to general human-like intelligence. The recent advancements in AI, exemplified by OpenAI's ChatGPT, have caught many analysts by surprise and sparked a discourse of panic about what could come next. However, history has shown us that achieving human-level intelligence in a computer is more challenging than imagined. Past milestones like the development of chatbots and AI systems that excel in chess and Go have always fallen short of true human intelligence.
For Christians, who believe in God-designed intelligence, the limitations of AI should inspire worship and awe. Despite our progress in designing silicon-based "intelligence," the complexity and capabilities of the human and animal nervous systems reflect the incredible detail that God has infused into us. Our pursuit of understanding intelligence through our own God-inspired creativity continually reveals its intricacies, leaving us in a state of surprise and awe at God's creativity in designing humanity.
To further support the Christian perspective on AI, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the largest Protestant American denomination, adopted a resolution on AI this summer. The resolution outlines fundamental truths Christians believe about God and humanity, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of AI. It strikes a balanced approach, emphasizing the importance of utilizing AI with godly wisdom and discernment to avoid dangerous and dehumanizing outcomes. The resolution acknowledges that AI and other emerging technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for advancement but must be approached thoughtfully.
Christians have a rich history of adopting new technologies to spread the message of God's love. From writing down the Hebrew commandments, scriptures, and letters of the apostle Paul to utilizing radio, television, the internet, and smartphone apps, Christians have effectively used technology to share the Good News globally. The advancement of AI presents new possibilities for spreading biblical and experiential truths in profound ways. Additionally, AI can be utilized in the administrative tasks of understaffed churches, freeing up pastors and staff to focus on ministering God's love to others.
Despite the potential benefits of AI, Christians should maintain a default attitude of hope. The SBC resolution wisely encourages engaging with AI and other technologies from a place of eschatological hope rather than embracing them uncritically or rejecting them out of fear. It reminds Christians that God's unchanging Word is more than sufficient for any ethical challenges, questions, and opportunities they may face. Whether with current AI or the more advanced AI of the future, Christians have the opportunity to adopt these new technologies in their ministries, using them to build up the church and present biblical truths to society.
In conclusion, while the rise of AI has led to widespread panic and concerns over its implications, Christians have a unique perspective. They understand that AI is not a new phenomenon and recognize its limitations in achieving true human-level intelligence. With their faith as a foundation of hope and security, Christians can embrace AI as just another tool to spread the Good News. The recent resolution by the Southern Baptist Convention highlights the importance of utilizing AI with wisdom and discernment, acknowledging its potential for advancement while also recognizing the need for caution. Christians have a history of adopting new technologies to share God's love, and AI presents another opportunity for them to do so. Ultimately, Christians find comfort in the supremacy of God's cosmic framework, knowing that His unchanging Word is sufficient for all challenges, present, and future.