An Evangelical Response to Artificial Intelligence

RTIFICIAL Intelligence has become ubiquitous. It is all around us. It is in our phones. It is in the device sitting on the countertop listening to our every word and coming to life when we call its name. It recognizes our face. It knows our online habits. It’s something Christians need to think and speak about.

I was honored to be a part of a group of folks, all of whom are far brighter than me, which drafted a statement to help evangelicals think about the topic of Artificial Intelligence. The group included medical personnel, theologians, politicians, software developers, non profit leaders, attorneys, educators, pastors, and others.

Here’s the preamble to the statement:

As followers of Christ, we are called to engage the world around us with the unchanging gospel message of hope and reconciliation. Tools like technology are able to aid us in this pursuit. We know they can also be designed and used in ways that dishonor God and devalue our fellow image-bearers. Evangelical Christians hold fast to the inerrant and infallible Word of God, which states that every human being is made in God’s image and thus has infinite value and worth in the eyes of their Creator. This message dictates how we view God, ourselves, and the tools that God has given us the ability to create.

In light of existential questions posed anew by the emergent technology of artificial intelligence (AI), we affirm that God has given us wisdom to approach these issues in light of Scripture and the gospel message. Christians must not fear the future or any technological development because we know that God is, above all, sovereign over history, and that nothing will ever supplant the image of God in which human beings are created. We recognize that AI will allow us to achieve unprecendented possibilities, while acknowledging the potential risks posed by AI if used without wisdom and care.

We desire to equip the church to proactively engage the field of AI, rather than responding to these issues after they have already affected our communities. In light of this desire and hope, we offer the following affirmations and denials about the nature of humanity, the promise of technology, and the hope for the future.

You can read the rest of the statement at the website for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission here.