Recently, I was in the grocery store shopping and noticed a Time magazine on the rack. The title of it was Artificial Intelligence: The Futue of Humankind.
For quite some time now I’ve been storing up thoughts and mixed feelings about artificial intelligence. I’ve see tons of positives with how it can advance our society. Make no mistake about how it has made a huge impact on various parts of our lives. However, when I see science acting in the place of God, I can’t help but notice some obvious flaws.
For example, science is often portrayed as the ultimate form of truth. Scientists have their own unique answer to the questions about our existence: Who we are, where we’re going, how did get here, whats our purpose. Honestly, if you were to ask many people they’d want science as the ultimate standard for morality, life, and just about everything. Science is often touted as perfect, therefore artificial intelligence fits well into the mix.
Since we’re created with a deprivation of holiness due to original sin, artificial intelligence seeks to rebuild mankind in a new image. One that’s incorruptible, no ailments, perfect will to always choose right from wrong. Everything that we’ve contracted in ancestral sin, A.I. has removed. In fact, A. I. Is the true human. You see this in a lot of movies with A.I. For example, in Robocob is the true copies. The perfect solution to failed human law enforcement. If I’m not mistake, there’s a scene in the film when the cops are jealous or irritated by Robocob supplanting their skills.
How short sighted are we to always underestimate the potential of our ingenuity. Think of the Atomic Bomb. Perhaps one of the greatest evils had the capability of wiping out thousands and still causing diseases to generations. Scientists in the Manhattan Project thought a good would result from this, indeed it did, the end of WW2. However, the effects are innumerable!
I’ve often heard about the movement of Singularity, essentially the survival of the fittest with machines ultimately replacing humans, and I can’t help but notice the Darwinian evolution like stance it takes to believe in it. Evolution sees man as a continual upward path of evolving, artificial intelligence seems to be the pathway that leads to the super man. In true Darwinian fashion, the conflict perspective sees competing forces against each other. Rich vs. Poor, peasants vs. Noble class, capitalist vs socialist. Ultimately, the divide will be the role of humans vs Artificial intelligence
Again, I know technology has tons of amazing benefits, but where will we draw the line eventually? Perhaps in the future, the great questions that religion solves will be debated on their applicability to A.I:
Where do I come from?
Whats my purpose?
Do I have a soul?
An I made in the image of God?
Things like this, perhaps ethicists, theologians, and Philosophers will have to speculate about.
Funny thing is one night my wife and I stopped at Wal-Mart and the clerk told the customers to go to a kiosk. Clearly, we all heard her, but we didn’t get out of line. She repeated it again, but this time a gentleman in front of me shouted out “I don’t wanna use a machine… I wanna talk to a person.” Initially, I laughed at this, but his sentiment is very true.
What makes us human is really unique. Our ability to sympathize, rationalize and make moral choices are so profound. Machines, no matter how well programmed, miss the mark on giving mercy and compassion. Does a machine love on its own choice or because a programmer has installed within codes and cues to act in certain functions.
At the heart of us being made in the image of God is love. Love always requires a choice. God didn’t make string robots that are 100% mannequin like but created us with the capacity to choose freely from good and evil.
We dont need to be discared and supplanted, but instead plugged into the Creator of our souls.
In closing, I’m reminded of the song lyrics from Queen in their 1984 song “Machines (Or Back To Humans). There lyrics definitely shed light on our potential fate.
“When the machines take over
It ain’t no place for you and me”
“Living in a new world
Thinking in the past
Living in a new world
How you gonna last
It’s a Machine’s world…”