Impossible to Believe in both God and AI
December 16, 2014
Let’s face it, religion is another reason why we have not yet created true AI machines. Are there any religious people working on artificial general intelligence? Somehow I doubt it. Maybe it’s impossible to believe in both God and AI.
After all, an intelligent machine would just be physical stuff – wires and electricity – whereas human beings have an immaterial soul, according to most religious thinking. Religious apologists talk about the argument from reason, or more specifically the argument from mind, which basically claims that a mind is immaterial and we can never create an artificial mind just out of physical ingredients.
Hey, if a god-believer wanted to build a true AI machine, what method could he use? I suppose he would just build the most sophisticated and powerful computer he could, and then he would have to bow down and pray for God to endow that computer with an immaterial spirit. Yes, the last key step depends on God alone, since human workers themselves can never conjure up an immortal soul from mere dirt.
And how does anyone know whether God will cooperate with our AI project? Does it say anything in the Bible about artificial people? Maybe God just doesn’t want sentient robots. He created human beings, and that’s enough to fulfill his celestial plan. Maybe it’s sacrilege to try to build AI. Researchers in the field of AI are playing God, or mocking God perhaps. It’s like the Tower of Babel, and God will intervene to prevent uppity humans from going too far.
I wonder if any religious people out there would care to disagree with my assessment. Please comment if you think I’m misrepresenting religion or missing some key point of theology!