A 21st century plan as old as Eden
“I’ve had atheists say God doesn’t exist – yet,” observes Christian apologist Alex McFarland. “But He will and He’s in the process of becoming God, and they mean the Internet, computing and artificial intelligence.”
Warning about “Skynet” and nuclear apocalypse in the year 1997, the 1984 film “Terminator” missed the date by a decade or so. But many suggest the movie might be on to something when it comes to the danger posed by Artificial Intelligence – computers designed to mimic the human brain and do tasks that require some level of intelligence.
Some innovators such as Elon Musk of SpaceX fame warn AI poses a danger, describing it as “summoning the demon” in a horror movie.
Musk, the billionaire pursuing commercial space travel, has put his money behind “OpenAI,” a nonprofit that pushes for “safe” development of AI through tight regulations.
A robot named “Sophia” poked fun at Musk (see video below) in a pre-programmed question-and-answer session that showcased the Hong Kong-built machine.
Yet former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski has started a church he calls Way of the Future, founded to worship the emerging technology.
The new religion, started in 2015, seeks to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence,” according to press reports.
McFarland, meanwhile, says we miss the true nature of God when we think of a machine elevating itself to deity.
“There’s the idea that this artificial intelligence is really us on steroids and therefore that constitutes God,” McFarland says. “God is wholly different than us. The creation will never eclipse the creator.”
The real danger, according to McFarland, is to gullible and vulnerable seekers. He notes that some biblical scholars connect modern-day technology with the Book of Revelation, such as controlling buying and selling via what’s called the “Mark of the Beast.”
“People have given their lives for a lot of things that were false,” he warns. “This might be the most sophisticated deception yet.”