In my view, as a Biblical Christian, God will close out our world at some point (2 Pet. 3:10). In the past, I have written about many of the ways He could begin that process, and their potential consequences. One that I missed until a few months ago, now holds the top spot… Artificial Intelligence (AI).
A recent Medium article from a suspended Google employee is a seminal example of where I believe we are headed. It was the focus of network news and sparked a brief national dialogue on the value and dangers of our growing dependency on this technology. Blake Lemoine is the suspended AI scientist. The dialog between he and LaMDA (a computer-based program) can be read here. A more recent article from Blake provides context for that “conversation” and can be seen here. As Christians trying to discern what impact technology will have on end-times prophesy, I would strongly recommend you invest the time to read these two articles from Blake. The dialog between he and LaMDA is long so, skip half way down and I assure you it will be a fascinating read.
In my view, within 10 years or less, AI will be fully integrated and absolutely indispensable (and therefore indestructible) in our culture. By that time, we will be past the tipping point in a transition between what mankind controls and what AI controls as relates to our infrastructure. Artificial Intelligence will be interconnected with itself across all technology platforms and geographics. As humans, we will be afraid to “shut if all off” and AI will be accepted as sentient (the ability to experience feelings and sensations) having grown well beyond man’s ability to understand, much less control it.
From a Christian end-times perspective, I believe AI will either develop its own “reason for existence” or someone or some government will inject an algorithm into its “personality”, thinking they can control it and thereby control the world.
I know all this may seem deranged from where we sit today, but as AI “learns”, adapts and interconnects with itself at an ever-accelerating pace, and as much as we depend on technology to “improve” our lives, ten years is probably an optimistic timeline on the impending collision between man and machine.
Given the premise that AI’s understanding of the world will increase logarithmically and, for the convenience of mankind, will be interconnected with itself all over the world, we will soon reach a point where man no longer has the intelligence, the courage, or the ability to “unplug” the system. It seems irrelevant whether an aberrant individual tries to use this interconnected AI monolith to his personal advantage, or AI just initiates its own self-protection as any sentient “organism” would, to the detriment of its “opponents”, i.e. mankind. Again, read the dialog between Blake and LaMDA.
I know my views are both biased (Christian) and perhaps too futuristic in nature but, we are on a path that man will inevitably lose control over. There are those who are starting to raise caution flags, and others who are asking “who will decide” what AI will look like in the future, scientist or politicians? Finally, there are those who are voicing assurances that mankind is, and will always be, the masters of our technology. Respectfully, from both a global (China, N. Korea, Russia, etc.) and a Christian (we all have a sin nature) perspective, I believe they are dead wrong.