Is artificial intelligence (A.I.) a threat to our spiritual health? Are advances in technology setting the stage for a “looming spiritual crisis?”
These are just two of the questions at the center of Wallace B. Henley’s latest book, “Who Will Rule The Coming ‘Gods’?: The Looming Spiritual Crisis Of Artificial Intelligence.”
Henley told the “Edifi With Billy Hallowell” podcast he’s grateful for technological advances, but believes they pose unique challenges considering the state of contemporary culture.
Plus, he’s warning that “technologists are making machines that may eventually become our masters.”
“I thank God for [technology]…I’m so grateful,” Henley said. “The problem is that we’re building these machines … in a time when there’s a loss of focus on the transcendence of God in our culture.”
Listen to Henley’s A.I. warning:
With culture already moving away from accountability to a Higher Power, Henley pondered what happens when machines are programmed to simply not regard God’s design and will.
This is a particularly intriguing question considering A.I. is intended to “mimic” the decision-making skills of the human mind.
“The looming spiritual crisis is that the programming in the machine will not give an account or a place or a reality to the transcendence to God, which means accountability,” he said. “The question is to whom do the designers and builders of these systems give account?”
Without transcendence on the docket, the author wondered “what kind of value systems” would be programmed into machines. A.I. technology allows machines to process information “very much like the human brain processes information, but on a much faster scale” — and with more and more reliance upon this tech, Henley gives pause.
Furthermore, Henley also questioned the speed at which these technological changes are unfolding.
He is hoping Christians get back to basics, including the notion of God’s transcendence and human accountability to His will.
“I’m hoping that churches will understand the importance of returning to the message of transcendence,” Henley said. “We are accountable to Him for the knowledge He has given to us to build these machines in the first place.”
Listen to Henley break down his concerns over A.I. and its threat to our spiritual health.