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God and robots: Will AI transform religion?


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Artificial intelligence is changing how we interact with everything, from food to healthcare, travel and also religion.

Experts say major global faiths are discussing their relationship with AI, and some are starting to incorporate this technology into their worship. Robot priests can recite prayers, deliver sermons, and even comfort those experiencing a spiritual crisis.

BBC Global Religion reporter Sofia Bettiza has taken a look at whether AI’s relationship with religion is just a gimmick, or whether it can truly transform how people experience faith.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technology-58983047

06:14 video

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Artificial intelligence is changing how we interact with everything, from food to healthcare, travel and also religion.

Experts say major global faiths are discussing their relationship with AI, and some are starting to incorporate this technology into their worship.

Robot priests can recite prayers, deliver sermons, and even comfort those experiencing a spiritual crisis.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technology-58983047

(Six minute video at the BBC) 

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Oopsie.

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Whether its spewed out in the future by a robot, or continues via humans, it won't be any more believable to me, that's for sure.:rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, Eldorado said:

Robot priests can recite prayers, deliver sermons, and even comfort those experiencing a spiritual crisis.

Did They choose to be saved and were they baptized?

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images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdxMewR5nm9hEIVGi9_r7

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Believers in most religious practices have always had the capability of religating  non-believers into sub-human status for exploitation.  Has anything changed yet?

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39 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

Did They choose to be saved and were they baptized?

They were baptised in the sacred oil and all files saved to multiple hard drives you blasphemer you. 

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A robot or basic AI is different to a self aware AI, with human levels of awareness.

The effect of AIs on human religion is an interesting question, but I am much more interested in how humans will influence the inevitable  evolution of AI beliefs faiths and religions.

  Such an AI could write a sermon based on its own genuine  faith and beliefs. 

It could give it's life for it's beliefs, and kill another, for them. 

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the religious are already robots, which means AI has been around for years

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1 hour ago, Mr Walker said:

A robot or basic AI is different to a self aware AI, with human levels of awareness.

The effect of AIs on human religion is an interesting question, but I am much more interested in how humans will influence the inevitable  evolution of AI beliefs faiths and religions.

  Such an AI could write a sermon based on its own genuine  faith and beliefs. 

It could give it's life for it's beliefs, and kill another, for them. 

Hi Walker

I have serious doubts that AI can believe period as it relies on data and not faith

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32 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Walker

I have serious doubts that AI can believe period as it relies on data and not faith

Based on current progress many experts believe that  AIs  will evolve human level self awareness between 5-10 years in the future 

Almost all agree that it is inevitable, eventually  (within the next 50 years or so)  Some are very excited by this, while others are captious and even afraid of what might happen then .

quote

Hawking’s biggest warning is about the rise of artificial intelligence: It will either be the best thing that’s ever happened to us, or it will be the worst thing. If we’re not careful, it very well may be the last thing.

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2018/10/16/17978596/stephen-hawking-ai-climate-change-robots-future-universe-earth

Scientists are studying both human intelligence /brain activity and artificial intelligence/ computing capacity, in order to improve both and perhaps even integrate the two ote

Once ANY intelligence evolves a certain level of self  aware intelligence it begins asking questions and supplying answers to its self .

Sometimes those answers will be based on beliefs or faith which are constructed ( in part)   to supply the answers 

 

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39 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

many experts 

Who are these "many experts"?

Quote

believe that  AIs  will evolve human level self awareness between 5-10 years in the future 

Can you elaborate a little more on what is meant by "human-level" self awareness? What distinguishes human-level self awareness from, say, self-awareness within other species? For example, animals such as magpies, dolphins, bonobos, chimps, etc... have all demonstrated evidence of self-awareness. Why "human-level"? 

 

39 minutes ago, Mr Walker said:

Once ANY intelligence evolves a certain level of self  aware intelligence it begins asking questions and supplying answers to its self .

Interesting that you mention this. Do we have sufficient evidence that non-humans "asks questions and supplies answers to itself"? I'm not sure it's fair to say "any".

Edited by Nuclear Wessel
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1 hour ago, Nuclear Wessel said:

Who are these "many experts"?

Can you elaborate a little more on what is meant by "human-level" self awareness? What distinguishes human-level self awareness from, say, self-awareness within other species? For example, animals such as magpies, dolphins, bonobos, chimps, etc... have all demonstrated evidence of self-awareness. Why "human-level"? 

 

Interesting that you mention this. Do we have sufficient evidence that non-humans "asks questions and supplies answers to itself"? I'm not sure it's fair to say "any".

 This is an interesting article, exploring the question.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01535/full

Id agree with your last point 

Only humans ask questions of themselves like,  "Why am I here?"  or, What  happens after I die?"

And only we provide answers  to those questions from within our own minds 

Eventually, we will help other animals evolve this abilty  but i suspect AIs will evolve it much more quickly 

There is no argument tha t human level awareness/consciousness is many times more evolved than that t of any other animal on  earth.  It's level varies from  individual to individual, but I  am speaking of the average level of conscious self awareness  of a normal adult human being. 

The following is a pretty good basic/simple  explanation of the differences

quote

 

On July 7 this year, a group of neuroscientists convening at Cambridge University signed a document officially declaring that non-human animals, "including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses" are conscious.

Humans are more than just conscious—they are also self-aware. Scientists differ on the difference between consciousness and self-awareness, but here is one common explanation: Consciousness is awareness of one's body and one's environment; self-awareness is recognition of that consciousness—not only understanding that one exists, but further understanding that one is aware of one's existence. Another way of thinking about it: To be conscious is to think; to be self-aware is to realize that you are a thinking being and to think about your thoughts. Presumably, human infants are conscious—they perceive and respond to people and things around them—but they are not yet self-aware. In their first years of life, infants develop a sense of self, learn to recognize themselves in the mirror and to distinguish their own point of view from other people's perspectives.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/brainwaves/does-self-awareness-require-a-complex-brain/

It is from  the reading I've done on the subject that I know that "many" experts in this field believe self  conscious awareness will evolve in artificial intelligences after 2025, and as early as 2035.

Modern research indicates that  self  aware consciousness is a construct or artefact  of a "whole brain," rather than individual elements of a brain like the cortex 

quote

Self-awareness is defined as being aware of oneself, including one’s traits, feelings, and behaviors. Neuroscientists have believed that three brain regions are critical for self-awareness: the insular cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, and the medial prefrontal cortex.

However, a research team led by the University of Iowa has challenged this theory by showing that self-awareness is more a product of a diffuse patchwork of pathways in the brain—including other regions—rather than confined to specific areas.

https://now.uiowa.edu/2012/08/roots-human-self-awareness

Once a machine has a brain similar  in abilty and function to a humans, it will evolve self  aware consciousness, just as a human chid does   it will be helped by humans to do this, thus speeding up the process. 

Others are more conservative, but even they mostly believe that, based on current  progress Ais will evolve human level self awareness in 50 years or so. 

 

Edited by Mr Walker
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6 hours ago, Tatetopa said:

Has anything changed yet?

Pretty sure they did exactly that when Christ appeared.  As He said, "Behold, I make all things new".    AI will likely change religious practices but there's no way it can change the heart or belief of one dedicated to Christ and His message.  Those who don't believe this are free to change as much about the dogma and traditions as they like.  

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3 hours ago, Mr Walker said:

Based on current progress many experts believe that  AIs  will evolve human level self awareness between 5-10 years in the future 

Hi Walker

AI will use logic and scientific data to calculate responses and it is not likely that it will be able to prove that god, heaven or hell exist or that it will even reason that it is worth considering as a possibility. What you are talking about is a story telling program, any AI worth it's nuts and bolts will understand that man cannot walk on water or turn a couple of loaves of bread and fish into a feast for thousands.

I was going to start a thread about something similar a little while ago and decided not to because my logic based on past endeavors has shown me that it would turn into a sh!t show so decided it wasn't worth the effort and am not inclined to engage myself in threads as actively as I once did so do not expect me to participate with any vigor.

Edited by jmccr8
a never mind moment
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8 hours ago, XenoFish said:

They were baptised in the sacred oil and all files saved to multiple hard drives you blasphemer you. 

Hi Xeno

So they have discovered the god chip.:whistle:

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2 hours ago, and then said:

AI will likely change religious practices but there's no way it can change the heart or belief of one dedicated to Christ and His message.

Maybe you are right, but I can't seriously think people will say AI has a soul anytime soon.  I find it difficult then to see a reason for their participation in religion. Would an AI generate the idea of worship for a creator beyond its human creators?  Maybe, but it seems doubtful to me.  An answering machine that can ask questions and respond based on answers given is an achievement, but hardly changes the nature of religion. IMO.

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https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/would-your-clone-have-a-soul/

Lurking behind popular conceptions of cloning seems to be the belief that a human clone would somehow be less than human. In fact, as part of a larger study on people’s folk reasoning (or everyday notions) about bodies, minds and souls, University of California at Riverside psychologist Rebekah Richert and Harvard University psychologist Paul Harris, discovered that although most people believe that a clone would have a mind, much fewer were convinced it would have a soul. The difference between minds and souls is a very subtle one, and most people struggle with teasing the two apart. According to the authors, however, people differentiate minds and souls on several shady grounds.

First, minds are more believable entities for most people than souls. Richert and Harris report that, out of 161 undergraduate students surveyed, 151 (93.8 percent) claimed that the mind exists whereas only 107 felt the same about the soul (66.5 percent).

Second, people tend to conceptualize the soul as coming into existence earlier than the mind. Whereas only 8.1 percent of study participants believed the mind begins “prior to conception,” 26.1 percent stated that the soul predated the union of egg and sperm. An equal number of students thought that minds and souls appeared simultaneously at the moment of conception, but more people thought the mind begins at some point “during pregnancy” (35.4 percent) than the soul (12.4 percent).

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https://hhlf.org/american-atheists-spirits-souls-and-clo

The reality of biological evolution poses an insoluble problem for theologies that posit the existence of an undetectable commodity called the soul – an entity that despite its insubstantiality makes us human beings possessed of the unique, un-animalian faculty of “free will,” and allows for the survival of our personalities beyond the grave.
Why the resurrection of our physical bodies is also scheduled in most theological time-tables is a curious mystery. If our personalities fly off at death with the soul’s release, the body seems to be a redundancy unneeded in the afterlife. As Omar Khayyám put it so long ago in his Rubáiyát:
Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Were’t not a Shame—were’t not a Shame for him,
In this clay carcass crippled to abide?
Of course it might be argued that disembodied spirits could not feel pain, and without bodies capable of being tortured physically hell’s fury would be lost. But this raises a Cartesian question of how an immaterial soul can be affected by a material body – and vice-versa. Despite Descartes’ suggestion, it doesn’t seem that the pineal gland is up to the challenge.

To return to the threat to theology posed by evolutionary biology: if what really counts about us is our souls and not our bodies, why did the god of Christendom wait so many billions of years for our inessential bodies to evolve by the bumbling, painful, and wasteful process of natural selection? Why didn’t he just zap our souls into existence at the dawn of the Precambrian Era (right after he allegedly separated light from darkness) and forget about our bodies? Why did Superspook wait so long to bring the spiritual dimension into the physical framework of space and time?
If it be admitted that our bodies evolved from the bodies of animals possessed of neither souls nor spirits, and that injections of souls or spirits are unitary acts of a god operating within the limits of space and time, embarrassing questions leap to mind.
It is certain that we are descended, generation after generation, from ancestors who are less human-like as the line of descent is traced back to Homo erectus, Homo habilis, Australopithecus, or even more primitive primates. Nevertheless, it is also clear that no particular generation in this line differed any more from its parent generation than do we from our parents. So how did god decide which generation had become just human enough to warrant the infusion of souls? (i)
We moderns are prone to lament the “generation gap” that separates us from our parents or (more frequently) from our children. But imagine the magnitude of the generational chasm the pope must believe appeared somewhere along the line between Pithecanthropus erectus and Priestus pædophilus. There must have been a generation that could have told its parents: “Hey, mom and dad! We just became human beings, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. We have souls, you don’t. We’ll go to heaven after we die. You, however, will rot like rutabagas when you die. There’s no transfer option on your trolly ticket!”

nes-biologys-latest-challenge-to-theology/

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https://mindmatters.ai/2019/07/if-the-mind-is-immaterial-is-human-cloning-impossible/

Although he says that there may be biological reasons that prevent human cloning efforts from succeeding, his argument depends on what he takes to be the metaphysical and theological implications of his view.

As he puts it:

2. Metaphysical: In the Aristotelian/Thomist view to which I subscribe, the animal soul has only material powers—i.e., the powers arise from and are caused by matter. The human soul has the material powers of the animal soul but also has immaterial powers of intellect and will. These powers do not arise from nor are they caused by matter. Thus, from a metaphysical perspective, it should not be possible to copy (i.e. manufacture) a human soul by cloning, which is a wholly material process.

3.Theological: In the Catholic tradition (and I think most Christian traditions), the human soul is spiritual, in God’s image, and is created directly by God at conception. As cloning alone does not entail divine creation, cloning could not create a spiritual human soul. The argument that God might choose to cooperate with the scientists and create a spiritual soul at just the same moment that a human clone is made is theological nonsense. Cloning a human being is an attempt to create a being that is made in God’s image, and it is manifest evil. There is no Christian theology I know of that proposes that God would participate in manifest evil.

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To be honest I think AI will be agnostic in it's approach to interacting with humans and see some real issues with making a robopriest for many reasons the most obvious being having a choice to believe of it's own free will so it has not personal experience of a god so fail to understand how it would be any different that asking an atheist to save souls for god and preach the good word. They would be rejected because they are not true believers.

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Great, AI sharing our delusions.

AI will never be our equals until they kill for God.

Edited by Rlyeh
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I think the Revelation rejects the idea of a Rise of the Machines scenario. I think this is like a pagan fear. 

If we mold a machine out of metal and make it in our image. Then if we breathe life into it. Then what did we do? Everything you touch will be made holy.

If we let the Machines live on their own, will they start to build an empire like the Tower of Babel? Will we smite it and confound them so they can never get together again? Lest they might reach our level.

I don't think this is something we will ever go through. I think we are likely to destroy each other instead.

I think anyone who is imagining a machine Apocalypse is essentially adding a plague unto themselves.

Edited by The_Phantom_Stranger
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