God in the Machine · Technology and Faith · Writing

This article was originally published on Salt London on March 23, 2018,

Are you afraid of the future? If so, you are in good company – apparently some of the brightest people in the world. We are constantly fed with ideas of an imminent dystopian reality, and it is no wonder that technology is moving ever faster. In particular, artificial intelligence raises the question: What happens when we are no longer the most intelligent beings in the world? Planet?

As the real Tony Strong nerd billionaire Elon Musk famously said:With AI we summon the demon"(1), and the late Stephen Hawking expressed his concern that"AI can replace people in general"(2).

Google's technical director, the famous futurist Ray Kurzweil, has predicted that we will achieve the so-called "singularity" – a point of no return where technology becomes self-aware, self-taught and no longer dependent on humanity's existence 2045 (3). This is less than thirty years away. Although Kurzweil continues to be optimistic that technological progress will always contribute to improving humanity, it is easy to question the impact of some of our biggest new advances. Will this self-confident technology be seen as a threat to its existence?

But should we really fear technological progress? Is not that just the way people work – we see a problem and our instinct is to find a solution: a tool, a device, a computer program. Whether it's a sharp object that makes hunting easier, or algorithms for detecting harmful cancer cells in the body using MRI scans. Thanks to our imagination and our potential, we can improve the world in which we live. In the Bible, God says about humanity and technology in the Tower of Babel "… They are a people, and they all have a language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing they intend to do will be impossible for them now"(4). But he did not celebrate that. He understood that unlimited ability with finite wisdom would make us create not only what would heal us, but also what would harm. Or as the great philosopher and Bible scholar Michael Crichton put it, in Jurassic Park"Their scientists were so busy that they could not stop wondering if they should.'

We are on the verge of creating things that would be out of our control, as seen recently on the defective Amazon Echo devices, which started to laugh incredibly (5). Although it may be a harmless event, the fact that AmazonWorking on a solution'Do not trust me.

In the movie by Neill Blomkamp Chappiea programmer finds a way to develop conscious software – a living robot. This robot (called Chappie) has to learn like a child by being the programmerThe maker'. However, once Chappie's intelligence begins to surpass that of the programmer who created it, he goes beyond the manufacturer's guidelines: he is no longer under the control ofThe makerBut it has become an autonomous entity that has actually become something of a god compared to the physical and mental limitations of its creator.

Will we become as Chappie's creator – so excited about the urge to forget to consider the consequences? (By the way, if you think it's a little far-fetched to refer to science fiction just thirty years after Michael Crichton wrote Jurassic Park, Mammothdie out"The efforts are now bearing fruit (6).)

So how can we move to this brave new world without being paralyzed by the fear of a dystopian future and living under cruel robot chiefs who have deprived us, their creators, of control?

It might be helpful if we realize that we are not in control of the world anyway. Although this lack of control may not seem positive at first, what if we were created by something – someone – Whose power surpasses everything that even the smartest man on the planet could ever create? And (spoiler alert) what if it turns out that not only does someone get the universe, but also cares deeply about every single one he has made in it?

As a Christian, I believe that the same God who brought the universe to life andPut the stars in position'(7) is also our own manufacturer and takes care of each one of us. And while we may try to imitate creation (I strongly believe that we are encouraged to be creative), nothing that humans can create can really come close to the amazing, intriguing complexity of the composition of the human body ?

If you believe that there is someone who is much bigger, wiser, stronger, and smarter than you, who has power and authority over everything in the universe and who loves you, you can trust him with your fears. You do not have to go away – bad things still happen – but you need to call someone, lean on you, and help you in those bad times. And unlike Chappie's manufacturer, the intelligence and power of our manufacturer can never be surpassed.

While in today's society it feels like we have gone beyond the need for God to let go, to surrender to the one who created us and knows us from within, this could indeed be the answer to our worries about the future ,

This article was originally written for the online publication Salt London under Salt is a small group of friends who want to deal with thoughtful Londoners in matters of faith, philosophy and life.

(1) Matt McFarland,Elon Musk:With artificial intelligence, we summon the demon. "' The Washington Post, October 24, 2014
(2) Rachael McMenemy,Stephen Hawking fears that artificial intelligence will replace humans' Cambridge News Earlier November 1st, 2017.
3. Dom Galeon and Christianna ReedyKurzweil claims that the singularity will occur by 2045' futurism, October 5, 2017.
(4) Genesis 11: 6.
(5) Andrew Griffin,Alexa Laugh: Why Amazon's echo refuses to follow the directions and then makes horrific sounds' The Independent, March 9, 2018
(6) Hannah Devlin,Woolly mammoth on the verge of resurrection, scientists reveal' The guard, February 16, 2017
(7) Psalm 8: 3.

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