Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest innovations on the earth, comprising of complex algorithms to help us humans make better decisions. AI can be found in many digital platforms such as; mobile phone applications, media entertainment (Netflix) and speech recognition devices which help disabled individuals communicate. But what about AI in a religious context?
Does AI have a place within the church? Could robotic AI innovation be the future to Christian ceremonies to enable communicating Gods Word in multiple languages? A town called Wittenberg in Germany have welcomed BlessU2 to their church. BlessU2 is a robot with artificial intelligence, it has taken the post as a priest to perform ceremonial blessings in 8 different languages. While this is an excellent way to involve international visitors to the church, could this technological approach also distract peoples spiritual perception and experience in the church?
Furthermore, when we go to church we expect to talk to person... human interaction. To engage with another fellow Christian who can experience the Holy Spirit with you. Can we experience the same with BlessU2? Technology is the future and as mentioned before it does benefit humans in more ways than one. But when it sits next to humanity and moral judgement can it participate in respect to its own perception? For God told us not to follow/ worship idols of what man has made for themselves (Leviticus 26:1).
And why should we be trying to replace ourselves with robots when church is all about meeting, sharing and discussing Holy scripture with one another (Mark 16:15). When sharing an emotional experience we humans require another persons’ emotion to communicate. Artificial intelligence cannot provide this emotional content required to preach and discuss the teachings of Jesus Christ.
BlessU2 is a funny and novel idea which could definitely support and benefit other organisations and businesses but on a genuine, intimate and religious level, it does not have a place in preaching the Good News from the Bible.
Peace be with you all.