"Dad, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change the world faster and more profoundly than the internet did!" Our 38 year old son made that observation a few months ago so I've been pouring myself into understanding AI ever since. And I think he's right.
In case you've not heard, in November of 2022 a company released ChatGPT the most advanced AI platform in the world. Ask it almost any question, or topic and it will give you a well researched, well written, and factual answer. However on moral, or ethical questions unless you prompt it to base its answers on the Bible, it, ChatGPT has only "conventional" moral answers.
Because of my interest in the LGBTQ+ conversation I asked ChatGPT this question; "Is same-sex marriage wrong based on the Christian church's historical teaching on marriage and sexuality?" The answer was too long to print here but was very well written and true to what Christians have always believed about those topics until 30-40 years ago. That's the good news!
The real danger of AI is that is has no moral, or ethical foundation for its answers and you don't know where it's drawing it's "counsel" from. Therefore I'm incredibly worried that many Christians will simply ask a "Chatbot" a question without asking for the answer in the context of the Bible, or historical Christian beliefs and get an unbiblical answer.
So here are my recommendations for you and your children and grandchildren!
1. Garbage in Garbage out
The information you get out of a computer or a Chatbot is only as good as the information base it is using. Very shortly you will see Chatbots dedicated to a Christian worldview. But what does that mean? Are the developers of that Chatbot Evangelical, Liberal, Catholic, or Protestant, etc. I'd suggest any question you pose include this phrase, or language, "based on a conservative, evangelical Christian worldview."
2. Beware of Bias
I'm confident that you'll soon see dedicated Chatbots that claim, or appear to be unbiased. But they will be sponsored by Republicans, or Democrats, liberals, or conservatives, or "news" outlets you may not recognize, or may not indicate who sponsored them at all. The information they will give may be "their truth" but not the whole truth. Know the source of your Chatbot. Take the time to do a Google or AI search to find out more about that site and who or what is behind it.
3. AI will learn from you
The more you use AI, or based on the questions you ask it and the websites you visit, before too long it will begin tailoring it's answers to fit your "profile." In other words, AI will begin building "your bias," into its answers. For instance, I asked ChatGPT several questions about
www.gaychristian.net a website that encourages same-sex marriages. I then asked a few more questions seeking advice about same-sex marriage not referencing the gaychristian website and the advice I was given slanted toward the advice on that site anyway, clearly having learned that I lean in the direction of that site. (Which I do not!)
3. Beware of information sent by others
There are fake news stories and videos already circulating that were generated by AI quoting people who never said what is being reported. If you think we had a "fake news" problem before, it's about to get out of control. If you read or see something that sounds outrageous, do not send it out to friends without fact checking it.
Just yesterday someone sent me a video of Hillary Clinton endorsing Ron De Santis. Immediately I went to www.snopes.com a site I use which fact checked stories. Fake, of course. I've received dozens of similar videos and blogs from good, smart Christians that when I fact checked them, they were either not true, not completely true, or based on some conspiracy theory. When I called this person to tell them the story is a fake, they blamed other people for passing onto them these falsehoods. That's true to a point. You and I are responsible for everything we pass on, or send others. Please take that responsibility seriously.
Next week: What does The Gospel Coalition Think of AI Theology? The Gosple Coalition asked ChatGPT several theological questions. It will surprise you with the answers they were given.