BioLogos Board member (and former president of Fuller Seminary) wrote a new article for us, Why I Signed the Evangelical Statement on Artificial Intelligence.
I thank Dr. Mouw for clarifying a few issues. I like his approach that the statement is more of a teaching document than anything else. I would still like to get @Chris_Falter’s take on the statement, when he has time.
I basically agree with the statement. AI is yet another form of technology, and like any technology it can be used for good or for ill. Because it can be used for good or for ill, we need to carefully manage its use to the best of our ability.
Some prophets of technology have prognosticated that AI will make work obsolete, so the statement defends the dignity of work as part of God’s calling for us. I don’t disagree with the statement, but I also think the prognostications are just silly. Technologists have been prophesying the death of work for many generations, and they have always been wrong. For every form of work technology has made obsolete, it has created a new one. There were no biochemists 200 years ago, for example.
Various forms of technology have challenged our view of what it means to be a human created in God’s image. We used to think of tool use as distinguishing us from all other creatures, but then we realized that all sorts of animals use tools, and even pass knowledge of tool use from one generation to the next. Then we thought we could draw the line at language, but now we have come to realize that gorillas, cetaceans, birds, and even prairie dogs have remarkable language ability. Yes, AI erodes the notion that our comparative intelligence defines the image of God in us, but I am not persuaded that the notion was ever right.
The image of God, argues John Walton in his Lost World series, denotes that God has marked out his dominion over the creation through humanity. In my view, this brings the theme of the image of God into alignment with the kingdom of God, which is brought into focus through Christ and His work and accomplished now (partially) and in the future (fully) through the church triumphant and united with Christ. This is the hill I am ready to die on, so to speak.