Responding to AI.

ChatGPT, Bard, Bing Chat… Let’s face it, artificial intelligence (AI) has surrounded us and is changing our world. And it’s been causing me a bit of consternation.  

Emerging large-language-model AI’s are the new hot topic.
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One reason: It seems like it can be used for some pretty nefarious purposes. The bad guys are loving it. We’ve already seen reports of this happening.  
Another reason: This software does some engineering tasks very well – it’s hard for me to not feel threatened that AI is going to take over what I can (and love to) do.  
But I’m trying to take a Biblical perspective on this. Doesn’t the Lord often use what the enemy means for evil and use it for our good? Is not advancement in technology what I get to leverage to advance the Gospel?  
I’ve been reading what Christian leaders and think tanks are saying about AI — and although it’s solid stuff I found what ChatGPT itself had to say to be most interesting.  
Yes, I asked ChatGPT for the evangelical Christian perspective on ChatGPT. Here’s what it had to say, verbatim: 

As an AI language model, I do not have personal beliefs or opinions, but I can provide information on the general evangelical Christian view on ChatGPT. 
Since ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence language model, it does not have a soul or consciousness, which is an essential aspect of human beings created in the image of God according to the Bible. Therefore, ChatGPT cannot have a personal relationship with God, nor can it be saved by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 
However, some evangelical Christians may view ChatGPT as a remarkable technological achievement that reflects the creative abilities of human beings, which they believe are a gift from God. They may also see ChatGPT as a tool that can be used to spread the gospel, share the love of Christ with others, and help people in need. 
Overall, the evangelical Christian view on ChatGPT may vary depending on individual beliefs, but it is likely that it will be seen as a product of human ingenuity that can be used for good or misused for harm, depending on how it is utilized. 
I have to admit, that is a pretty well-worded answer! It underlines the potential this technology has to offer but reminds us that it is not the image-bearer of God. We are. 
So how do we react to new technology? 
Back in 1931, the founder of HCJB, Clarence Jones, wanted to leverage the new technology of radio waves to set up a radio station to proclaim the Gospel. He was warned (told?) not to, because the devil is the “prince of the power of the air” (as in Ephesian 2:2), and ipso facto radio was the devil’s medium and shouldn’t be used. He didn’t listen. Instead, he wrangled the radio to share the Gospel. And radio has been used as a powerful vector ever since. As evil and worrisome as AI has the potential to be, I think it is our job — mine specifically — to wrangle it in the same way. 
So, folks, I jumped in.  
Today I introduced AI into my workflow. It wrote some microcontroller code for me and did an excellent job. I think this may be an amazing boost to my agility, ability, and efficiency in solving problems and creating ministry tools.  
Tomorrow, I begin a new role at the mission leading a task force that investigates ways we can leverage AI across the organization and use it for our good and God’s glory.  
In two weeks, I have a flock of engineering students arriving at the mission to spend their summer break from college learning how to harness their professional education for the sake of the Gospel. Their summer workload now includes embracing AI in their workflow, testing the boundaries of its usefulness, and developing new practices that we can employ.
From now on, AI is going to work for me to advance the Gospel!
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AI is a spiritual battleground. There’s no doubt. Let’s engage the enemy in this battle and claim it for the Kingdom! Thank you for praying with me in this.  
Tom (and Candice and the boys)

Tom and Candice Scatliff
Home phone: 574-575-8735
MissionGO Canada
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