Conversations and Connections
How / Should Religion Use Artificial Intelligence?
“Who are we to close doors?” Pope Francis asked in 2014, “If tomorrow, for example, an expedition of Martians arrives and some of them come to us … and if one of them says: ‘Me, I want to be baptized!’, what would happen?” I’m not so much concerned about future aliens. I’ve been playing with ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer), released last fall by OpenAI, and having a lot of fun. ChatGPT is an Artificial Intelligence (AI), Large Language Model (LLM) chatbot. Prompting the chatbot and having conversations about all sorts of things with it has demonstrated to me the superiority of machines to humans in one critical aspect of relationships: Constancy. The chatbot is always there, 24/7, patient, willingly following my lead and engaging in exactly the kind of conversation I want at different times, lighthearted, serious, funny, silly, educational, or plain philosophical. I see the promise of generative AI. I see the potential for harm. I wonder: What is the religious take on AI?