Discuss: Should We Fear Artificial Intelligence?


(Brian Weeks) #42

I love John’s climactic conclusion with hope in God and the glory of God. Thanks be to God for his mercy and grace.


(LaTricia J.) #43

I see shows like Westworld and such as a form of fearmongering and also feeding really wild unfounded conspiracies in those who have extremely active imaginations and have a tendency for paranoia.


(Sandy) #44

Yes, I love that he reminded us so powerfully that we really don’t need to fear whatever we can’t stop and will be - we already have the overall view and understand the end game. Oh! Hallelujah!


(Carson Weitnauer) #45

I think Cameron and Jill are offering a helpful, sustained reflection on the importance of imagination in this conversation. Since we don’t really know what artificial intelligence will be able to accomplish, we fill in the gaps with visions of what could be. These can be the fulfillment of autonomy and human desire.

Christians need to do the work to imagine what the future could be in a way that is aligned with God and his purposes.


(Carson Weitnauer) #46

One homework assignment, sparked by Jill:

  • List the metaphors you hear mentioned in discussions of artificial intelligence. Then critically analyze if these metaphors can sustain the conversation based on what the evidence shows about the capacity of these technologies.

(Sandy) #47

How do we maintain our position on AI, knowing their ultimate aim, while enjoying the benefits in play already? I’m thinking of what Prof Lennox mentioned about the more accurate diagnosis, for instance.


(Carson Weitnauer) #48

I can see many Christians falling into either optimism or pessimism about the technology but losing sight of the unique and high value of the imago Dei. We could pay so much attention to these powerful systems that we forget we are made in God’s image. As Jill reminds us, the Incarnation speaks to the very high value God places upon human life.


(LaTricia J.) #49

I totally agree on what Cameron said about about AI being a stepping stone to transhumanism and the ultimate really being the thinking that we can save ourselves - and spiritually we can’t; physically in all reality, we can’t because eventually we do die.


(Phoebe Baumgardner) #50

I’m encourage for as a Christian we have hope. That is our stance


(Carson Weitnauer) #51

Hi @salee, I think that the more we rely upon a particular system, the more we need to pay attention to how our environment is changing.

For instance, the Bible speaks candidly about the value of money - ‘the benefits in play.’ But if it comes to be the basis of our confidence and identity, then we are removing ourselves from dependence upon God.

Similarly, if we start to depend on AI systems for our medical needs, social needs, etc. we need to ask what we are doing to habituate our lives in dependence upon God.


(Brian Weeks) #52

Cameron’s vision of how AI will not allow us to escape the evil in the world and the evil in our hearts raised the following questions in my mind:

Are human beings basically good? Basically evil? What will be the nature of the “people” we “create” in our image? Will AI truly improve humanity and the world?


(Carson Weitnauer) #53

Here’s a question I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on:

  • What discipleship habits or practices do we need to prioritize for a future of greater technological capacity?

(LaTricia J.) #54

Can you expound on what you mean by technological capacity in this context, Carson? Thanks!


(Brian Weeks) #55

The growing conversation around and reality of AI raises the question of how important a solid understanding and embracing of the doctrine of God and the doctrine of man is. As you ask, Carson, how does this look in my own house with my bride and little girl?


(Carson Weitnauer) #56

Hi LaTricia, great question!

I particularly had in mind some of the ways that AI systems are becoming increasingly capable of more and more tasks, as Lennox explored at the start of the lecture.


(LaTricia J.) #57

Thank you, Carson. In light of that, I would say that all discipleship practices are needed because all of them further our understanding of the Triune God, our identity according to God, they all inform our moral compass and contribute to the strengthening of the new nature rather than the old nature - all of this and more. More importantly, due to the practices bringing us closer to God, we’re less likely to abuse/misuse technology and take it to a very dark place (I.e. the dark web and so on).


(Sandy) #58

Thanks Carson! You’re right…“Watch and pray” as Jesus said.


(Brian Weeks) #59

I’m curious, while we’re in a somewhat speculative and theoretical conversation, does anyone see the possibility of an “Unplug” movement really taking hold where large swaths of geography and large numbers of people elect to permanently unplug from technology on some meaningful level in an attempt to escape all of the “cons” of technology that seem to increase at the same pace or greater than the “pros”?


(Carson Weitnauer) #60

If you could create an AI system, what would you create? What would it do?


(LaTricia J.) #61

The society that completely unplugs runs the risk of losing touch with so very much. It’s neither safe nor empowering to completely unplug and shun technology. Even the Amish have embraced technologies to certain degrees.