Opinion: Are we concerned enough about artificial intelligence and freedom of religion?

Why The Church of England Is Talking About Artificial Intelligence

People are often surprised and encouraged when I tell them about the work the Church of England policy team and its bishops are doing in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics. Purple-shirted, dog collar-wearing members of the House of Lords are frequently spotted at committee meetings and sessions on these topics. Indeed, bishops report sensing surprise from some delegates who may be wondering whether the senior Church of England leaders belong in this environment.

Until 2016 the Church of England was not formally involved in this area. Then, thanks to some synergistic happenings, AI and Robotics arrived firmly on the Church of England’s radar.

One of these happenings was a 2016 ECLAS conference at the University of Durham. There, bishops and other senior church leaders were immersed for two days in the world of AI and Robotics. The delegates met research scientists in their labs and saw the painstaking work that goes into training machines to recognise chickens, cats, and dogs (all part of that fascinating area termed ‘machine learning’). They saw the ‘raw’ ‘training’ of machines to accurately perceive distances and objects while in motion, for use in technology to support driverless cars. Our church leaders were delighted to meet and interact with robots. Later, together with scientists, ethicists and theologians, they reflected on big questions emerging from the event. By the end of the conference, if they hadn’t been already, delegates were convinced that it was vital for the Church to engage with AI….

For the complete article go to the link below:

Why the Church of England is talking about Artificial Intelligence – ECLAS (eclasproject.org)



One thought on “Opinion: Are we concerned enough about artificial intelligence and freedom of religion?

  1. paul wildman

    This is a vital engagement for which the church is profoundly ill prepared. It is a stretch to suggest doctrine based on 2-3000year old texts can basically in any way engage AI or transhumanism. I am staggered that here the CoE is trying. At worst we have something like i have actually heard well here is AI shock horror now read Romans 20 or something ie one verse!!!

    I was trying to engage the church in what is human? 40years ago and nothing.

    It will again be too little to late – but hey at least they are trying

    Keep an eye on the Mormons!!!!!! and their church of post humanity…..

    ciao paul

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