ADVERTISING
 
Monday, July 22   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Charlee New
 

The Church, Robotics and AI

Christians appear to be able to offer a framework for insisting on the value and dignity of the human being in a mechanising world.

JUBILEE CENTRE AUTHOR Charlee New 23 JULY 2018 10:00 h GMT+1

On 29th June, we took part in a national conference called ‘For the Sake of the Future: The church, robotics and AI’ organised by CARE.



Over 250 church leaders, Christians in industry, students and others came together at the British Library to explore the theological, social and practical implications of advances in artificial intelligence and robotics.



Nigel Cameron opened the conference by posing three central questions: Firstly, what is the proper place of technology in the created order? Secondly, with increased technological unemployment, what will we do with our free time?



And finally, how do we respond to increasing human engagement with beings that are not human, but have been created to mimic humans?



In the first keynote session, Professor John Lennox provided a critique of a secular worldview underpinning technological development, arguing that ‘…behind writing on AI lies a whole raft of materialistic suppositions’.



Exploring transhumanist philosophy, Lennox highlighted the drive towards technologically-enabled immortality and the intensification of the pursuit of happiness.



Lennox argued that the alternative for Christians is found in Genesis, where he unpacked an interpretation of the biblical definition of life and offered the hope of resurrection as a counter-worldview from which to embrace technology. His full talk is available to watch on the CARE Facebook page.



We also heard from John Cruddas MP, who spoke urgently on the need for politics to regain its ‘ethical grip’. He argued that as politics has become increasingly managerial, we’ve forsaken the moral questions of how we want to live—and these questions are necessary for us to have any meaningful conversation about technology policy.



He was also critical of political leaders buying into ‘techno-solutionism’ (assuming all problems can be solved by technology) and insisted that we do not have to accept the technologists’ diagnosis of society’s ills. Ultimately, politics should re-establish the principles of a good life.



Seminars across the day covered a wide range of topics and speakers, including the impact of sex robots, use of robotics in healthcare, AI developments and the church’s response, and technological unemployment.



We also delivered our own seminar, ‘Future Economics: The end of business? A.I., economic disruption and hope’ which reflected some of the content from our forthcoming AI paper, to be published in early August.



Finally, Dr Patrick Dixon closed the day with a positive overview of technological achievements, and argued that ‘we love robots’ for the ways in which they release us from burdensome tasks so that humans can have dignity in work.



Whilst many Christians are making this first foray into the topic, there was still some sense of caution from speakers in speaking too definitively into a field that is rapidly changing (and in which predications often prove tricky to make).



However as Christians collectively grapple with this issue, there is hope that individual thinkers will increasingly be able to articulate bolder ideas, opinions and leadership on a future for AI-Robotics informed by biblical thinking.



Overall the conference made a good start in bringing a Christian worldview to AI, robotics and the wider role of technology in God’s creation.



The Genesis account was a recurring theme, from passing references to ‘the image of God’ to deeper study of the passages, revealing the need for continued work on the importance of Genesis beyond the popular focus on the creation-evolution debate.



Moreover, Christians appear to be able to offer a framework for insisting on the value and dignity of the human being in a mechanising world, as well as recapturing the vision for a ‘good life’ which AI and robotics can be made to serve.



 



Charlee New, Communications and Marketing Officer at the Jubilee Centre.



This article first appeared on the Jubilee Centre website and was republished with permission.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The Church, Robotics and AI
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Practical ways to bring Christians from different generations together Practical ways to bring Christians from different generations together

What if young people were on church committees? asks David Hilborn, Principal of St John's College (UK).

 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer
At the invitation of hundreds of churches in Spain, the Luis Palau Association are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in Madrid, June 15-23, 2019, through numerous outreach events and a 2-day family festival in the heart of the city.
 
What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context? What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context?

Espen Ottosen talks about the truths Christians should share with people who have little knowledge and/or many prejudices about Christian belief.  

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.