On October 8 Brewed Theology had another interesting discussion at our table about Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is yet another advancement in technology. As my adult child Hugh said in a recent discussion, AI will have an impact on our world much in the same way as the steam engine did and as the home computer and internet did.
For now, it’s a tool for us to use or not to use if we choose. It’s here to stay and it’s going to advance, likely exponentially, as technology typically does. The conversation isn’t about the if/when of AI but rather how to make sure it’s used ethically. At our table, we had someone who works in insurance who talked about how AI is being used to remove personal bias from the application and approval processes of insurance eligibility. A teacher talked about the real concerns for the generation coming up now in relying too much on apps and AI and subsequently losing opportunities to practice and learn how to critically think and analyze for themselves. Someone working in healthcare with genetics, reminded us how much technological advancements in some fields have helped save and improve lives for so many. It’s definitely an interesting topic that will be discussed much more in the future.
A theme prevalent during the large group reflection is that while technology and AI in the church and in our lives will never replace community or human connection and the warmth of a hug or touch, it can definitely keep us connected in unique ways that aren’t always physically possible over time and space and that’s also very valuable and special.
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