Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Artificial Inteligence: An Existential Risk?

Posted from today's Angelus News email.

Elon Musk Warns Governors: Artificial Intelligence Poses an Existential Risk

Wait... isn't this a page dedicated to the Catholic faith? So why all this talk of Elon Musk and Artificial Intelligence? Because it's relevant to our world!

In Gaudium et Spes, the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World promulgated by the Second Vatican Council, we are taught that "we must now consider this same Church inasmuch as she exists in the world, living and acting with it." Our faith does not stand outside and separate from the world we live in, even though we have a tendency to separate our secular lives from our religious lives. Instead we need to recognize that the Church is in and of this world. This isn't anything new. The Church has struggled with what we call "modernity" since the Renaissance (no, this was not just a 20th century issue...).

So how does our Faith form us and inform us in relation to this new frontier of AI? Well, that's the question, isn't it? Great minds like those of Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have given us warnings about how AI could mean the end of human civilization as we know it. Just because these people aren't religious doesn't mean we shouldn't listen. We Catholics, from our greatest theologians to you and me must consider how AI may affect our lives. We the people, the product of our creator, are now stepping out and becoming creators ourselves. What is our responsibility as parents to this new technology? How has our relationship with God taught us in this regard? All questions we should ponder...

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