In the last episode, we spoke about what generative AI is and I shared one of the reasons I think Christians should care about what’s happening in the AI scene. Please take a listen to it if you haven’t because this episode is a continuation of that one.
Unlike what a lot of movies tell you, It’s already been found that AI does not need to be sentient to wreak havoc on the world. Sentience means having consciousness, feelings or senses. A lot of people are wasting time arguing that as long as AI never becomes conscious, we have nothing to worry about. I’m here to tell you otherwise.
Here is reason number 2 why I think Christians should care about what’s happening with AI.
There is a good chance AI will negatively affect a lot of people and it’s not as far into the future as we think.
Let me put things into perspective for you. ChatGPT broke the world record by setting a new record for the fastest user growth in history. Within 2 months of release, it had over 100 million users. This is basically unheard of.
When I was younger and deciding my career path, one of the important things I researched was to make sure my job couldn’t be done by a machine. I was glad to know that my chosen industry was on the safe list. I was told that Machines cannot communicate like humans. Machines cannot create new ideas in any way similar to humans. Machines can never be artistic. Boy, were they wrong! We’ve all seen what these AI tools can do. And like I said in the last episode, whatever capabilities they are letting you see now have already been surpassed.
There are already lots of predictions out there. There’s one from Yuval Noah Harari where he theorised that human beings will eventually become useless due to AI. And that AI will run the world better than humans.
It’s already predicted that a lot of jobs will disappear very soon. Although this threat has been hanging over our heads for decades. Initially, we were told that automation will only take away jobs that are boring and repetitive and it will create better jobs for people. The initial wave of automation went after a lot of blue-collar jobs. However, this new threat goes beyond that. It’s coming for the white-collar jobs too. It can take jobs from doctors, voice actors, scriptwriters, hairstylists, and photographers. There’s a potential that no job is safe.
Why does this matter? I don’t like working anyway!
Apart from the obvious economical consequences, part of our mandate at creation was to work. God commanded us to work. As much as we hate to do it, amongst other things, work gives us a sense of purpose and fulfilment. We have a natural and innate desire to create. God has given us our beautiful minds and imagination for his glory.
What do we think will happen to people when AI has taken away most of the jobs and the need for us to be creative? Big businesses will have no qualms about replacing you with these tools. Because Guess who won’t moan about minimum wage? AI. Guess who won’t come to work late? AI! Guess who won’t complain about racism at work or the gender pay gap? You guessed it, AI! By the way, have you heard about the new AI-powered Macdonalds in Texas? If you haven’t, please Look it up. It’s interesting.
AI will be used to aid Christian persecution
Things are getting real, very fast. Another way AI will negatively impact people is that it will be used to persecute Christians. AI is apparently already being used in China to effortlessly improve state surveillance and the censorship of Christianity. I have another episode coming out soon that talks about how AI will wage war on truth and Christianity. So I’ll explore this further in that episode.
AI will empower criminals
Another negative impact of AI is a different level of crime we’ve never seen before. There are evil people out there already using AI to perpetrate crimes on a major scale. AI will allow a lot of criminals to be more powerful than ever. People are already getting scammed by someone calling in their loved one’s voice, generated by AI, pretending to be in danger and demanding money. Again this is just the tip of the iceberg of the nefarious possibilities of AI.
AI will boost mental illness
Can we talk also about the psychological effects of all these technological advances? Because there is always a tradeoff. Social media already led to more people being depressed, having more anxiety, and more loneliness. A lot of people are still not over the psychological effect of the pandemic. If AI continues like this, it means we will lose even more of our human connection. Of course, they will tell you that AI will make us connected more than ever. My question is, please, why do we need a third party or an intermediary? Our ancestors didn’t have any of these and they were arguably more connected than we are with their local communities.
We already have children born into a world that has never been without Siri or Alexa. These kids are telling Siri they love it. Although these tools have no capacity for real feelings, a lot of people are already forming complex relationships and emotions with these tools.
You may laugh and think, who are these weirdos? But have you thought about the upcoming generation who will be born into these things and they will have no knowledge or experience of what it is to be without these things?
If you think anything I’ve mentioned today is an exaggeration, then I’m afraid you are short-sighted or just have no idea about what is going on. Even the developers are saying that they don’t know the full capability of what they’ve created. I’m looking at the big picture. I’m looking at the possibilities of AI. If God allows it, I don’t think any of these things are far of in the future at all.
What can we as Christians do about any of this?
As I mentioned in the last episode, the main thing we should be doing is praying and preaching the gospel like never before. God is also powerful enough to destroy the works and plans of satan so please be hopeful.
Be strong and courageous
Another important thing is to have courage. I love what God told Joshua at the start of his ministry. God said in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This is not the time to be afraid of anything. There is a lot of fear-mongering out there. A lot of people are responding to these things with fear. Please don’t let that be you. Because we are the light of the world. As the world gets darker, we become brighter. Make sure your lamp is filled with oil. Fortify yourself with God’s word. Gear up like the soldier of Christ and be ready.
Don’t be over-reliant on AI tools
Another thing I think we as Christians can do is not introduce these AI tools into our lives just because everybody is doing it. God has given us our beautiful imagination, creativity and freedom. Do not outsource these things to AI. Don’t allow yourself to become useless or over-reliant on these tools. Don’t let laziness steal from you. Don’t become enslaved to the machines because you let your cognition decline because you refuse to think critically. Don’t be seduced by these tools. It’s not always right to choose convenience and comfort by sacrificing the freedom that God has given you.
Oh hey kids, I need to spend 5 hours scrolling on social media today. Alexa will read you a story composed by ChatGPT.
I’m not asking anyone to become a Luddite and like I mentioned in the last episode, I don’t think these AI tools only have evil usage. I’m saying that we need to be extremely careful not to blindly adopt these tools just because we want to be the coolest kid on the block. You need to ask yourself, are these AI tools helping me to love God or love my neighbours? Are they drawing us closer to God or pushing us away from him? Are these tools giving God glory or causing me to sin?
There’s a lot more to discuss on this topic in upcoming episodes so please subscribe on YouTube and your favourite podcast platform to stay in the loop. Please consider sharing with others.
Be awake. Be alert. Do not be afraid of evil days. Because he lives, you and I can face tomorrow. NO MATTER WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS. Jesus is coming back soon with justice and peace. He is coming with healing in his wings for the nations of the world. My dear Christian, Be strong and courageous.
Remain in his love.