Friday, January 10, 2020

The Challenges of Artificial Intelligence

By Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki

Artificial Intelligence is an unprecedented caliber of technological achievement of recent years, its range of application is enormous, the rate of its evolution fast, the consequences unforeseen, the threat to our human identity unprecedented, its formative power for the future of societies, of human beings, of life and of the world immeasurable, it is a global concern, and expert scientists appear to be inadequate in their predictions.

Modern science gives humans a sense of omniscience, and technology a sense of omnipotence, which is why the problem rests on the notion that we know and can do everything. Because we feel we are omniscient and omnipotent, we have no need of an all-wise and omnipotent God, we don't want Him, and we seek to prove that we are superior to Him or that we have divine abilities that do not emanate from Him.

But in this effort to create our virtual image, the post-human, and in response to modern obsolete anthropology, the Church has its own counter-proposition. The words of St. Gregory the Theologian, "Let us not remain what we are, but let us become what we once were," resonates our prospect within the truth of history, which is the divinely-fashioned man of the first chapter of Genesis, the man who was created "in the image and according to the likeness" of God, the man who is the image of God, who moves in the prospect of being in His likeness and even claiming fellowship with Him.

As a Church there is no reason to fear all this scientific and technological development, however advanced it may be. We must, however, be honored to acquire a "philosophical mind," in order to judge the outcomes and make use of the achievements, with a fervent spirit, in order to give the contemporary world the testimony of our eternal truth. Our world does not thirst for Artificial Intelligence, it has need for God-given wisdom. The first could possibly bring catastrophe, but the second guarantees life. The preaching and testimony of our Church is as timely as ever.

Translated by John Sanidopoulos.