Should we fear AI?
There’s a difference between Self-initiated sentience and stimuli-response protocol.
You and I are self-initiated sentience. We were designed by God to have our own will, desires and self-initiating activities. that is very different from so-called AI all AI systems or essentially stimuli response protocols means that they require input from an outside source. They then respond to that input. Let’s not forget that these AI systems are not self-initiated even an AI system, which is programmed to be automated in every way, is not self-initiated
You wake up in the morning, and you determine that you want to do something, produce something, or create something. AI does nothing until it has input or programmed automation.
Why does that matter? Because it defines the types of threats that AI can pose.
What type of threat does AI pose?
There are two kinds of threats that can result from AI technology.
Automated process accidents. In this type of threat, AI could be programmed to automatically do a task that inadvertently and accidentally hurts someone. We already see a form of these types of accidents every day. These types of accidents already exist in our digital ecosystem.
A few years ago, I had my google AdSense account shut down because of a programmed protocol that Google follows. I clicked on an ad on my own site. That action was registered as fraud. This entire process was automated and programmed. Technically, it would be considered an accident because I was not engaging in fraud. These types of automated process accidents will continue to occur as long as humans continue to be imperfect programmers. This type of threat is something that can be mitigated by quality engineering, and it is already something that tech companies are focused on avoiding.
The second threat is not directly from AI but from evil people. People still have a monopoly on evil. AI doesn’t intend to do anything, whether good or bad. It only responds to stimuli. But people can be incredibly evil. The threat is not directly from AI but from people who will use the latest tools of destruction and deception for their own purposes.
When the most destructive weapon was a muzzle-loaded musket, that’s what evil people would use to destroy life. When the most destructive weapon was the atomic bomb, that’s what evil people wielded to threaten the world. Now that the most destructive weapon will soon be AI, there is virtually no doubt that it will be what evil people use to kill and harm others.
That comes with a caveat, though, because the muzzle-loaded musket was also what innocent people used to defend themselves. The atomic bomb in the hands of reasonable governments has also been a worldwide deterrent for large-scale nuclear war. In the same way, AI will be what innocent people use to defend themselves against evil people who are trying to hurt and kill them.
So, as it has always been with any new weapon, there will be both a threat and protection that come from AI. We hear a lot about the threats, but we hear very little about the protection.
They say you don’t fight fire with fire, but we certainly will fight AI with AI. The technological race ensures that both good and bad players will have access to this technology.
We will strike a balance that keeps the powers of destruction in check. It won’t be easy, and it will take massive innovation, but provided that there are good God-fearing people on the side of innocence, they will continue to find a way to protect others.
God is bigger than AI.
If you are a believer, you have hope that the rest of the world doesn’t. No matter how complex an AI system gets, it is still infinitesimally small compared to God’s intellect, sovereignty, and omnipotence. God has made eschatological promises to us about the ark of history.
AI might play a role in that eschatology, but we know who wins in the end. Take Hope and rest on the piece that Christ offers. He is the Victor in all things. He is not afraid of AI, and he will very likely allow us to use AI to enhance our lives and to bring others to consider his grace.
AI is already sharing the gospel
I am not the only one who has been using AI to talk about faith in Jesus. I have used AI to write scripts for gospel videos. I have used AI to produce visual content that facilitates contemplation about the faith. AI is already being used as a tool by me and many others to share the gospel and to talk openly about faith in Christ.
We live in an exciting time of technology. Of course, our age requires a healthy level of skepticism and wariness, but that is nothing new to human history. Those who are afraid forget that God prepares each generation for the challenges that they face. People born for the last generation are frightened of what’s to come, but I believe that those born for this generation are ready and capable of facing the challenges at hand.