As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.” Luke 2:35, NLT
ChatGPT, a generative artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way we live. The viral artificial intelligence chatbots are finding its way into homes and offices all across the world. We are in the dawn of a new era of human existence. Geoffrey Hinton, the “Godfather of AI,” who created a foundation technology for AI systems, has raised concerns of the profound risks to society and humanity of generative AI. The new generation of chatbots can help anyone to create information about anything. There is a very dangerous potential for the spread of misinformation created by AI and it would be difficult to know what is true anymore.1
Nicholas Matthews found that humans are rapidly taking on God-like qualities in our pursuit of creating robots and artificial intelligence. He posed the following thought provoking questions:
- How do we created humans, create, and how do we then govern this non-human life?
- How will this new form of life (albeit artificial) interact with humans and interact with each other?
- Should they remain bound to the service of humans, or should they have the right to exist and determine their mission?
- If robots are to have rights, will these rights be their right to freedom of expression and thought, and any subsequent consequence through the legal system?
- Will they remain as robotic machines, or will they ultimately evolve to be sentient beings who have the ability to perceive, feel, and experience subjectivity?2
These questions raised by the creation of artificial intelligence by human beings who are made in the image of God filled me with a sense of wonder of the wisdom, power and love of God. If we are not to be deceived and enslaved by artificial intelligence, we need to cultivate our spiritual intelligence (SI) in order to gain a heart of wisdom.
A godlike but ungodly and godless creature is doomed for destruction as it will be a vehicle for much evil and suffering. Human beings have the freedom to choose between the love of power and the power of love. God has given us the bible to seek and to develop spiritual intelligence. The stories of Adam and Eve, the Flood and the Tower of Babel in Genesis Chapters 3, Chapters 7 to 8 and Chapter 11 depict the reality and problems of evil and our need for God’s redemptive love. The bible is the sacred record of the truth that love will always be victorious over evil.
When Adam and Eve were tempted by the love of power to seek knowledge, they became more self conscious and hid from God. As a result, they lost their spiritual intelligence. Spiritual intelligence is growing in God’s consciousness and dying to our self consciousness. Jesus came to teach us how to be filled with God’s consciousness and to emptied of self consciousness:
“Although he was in the form of God and equal with God,
He did not take advantage of this equality.
Instead, He emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant,
by becoming like other humans,
by having a human appearance.
He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
death on a cross.”3
Jesus came to restore our spiritual intelligence so that we can live the abundant life as the children of God. Artificial intelligence can help us to be successful in the world but we need spiritual intelligence to face death and to find meaning in life, especially in times of suffering.
During the circumcision of Jesus when he was eight days old, the Holy Spirit led Simeon, a righteous and devout man in Jerusalem to the Temple. Simeon was waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. He was given the assurance by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. When he saw Jesus, he praised God for showing him that Jesus is the light to reveal God to the nations and he prophesied to Mary:
“This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”4
Without an awareness of our deepest thoughts, we are oblivious to our need for spiritual intelligence. Without spiritual intelligence, we cannot know what God wants us to do with our lives. We will be driven by pride, lust and greed to use artificial intelligence to satisfy our sinful desires. To have spiritual intelligence, we need to be devoted to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.5
The story of Anna, a widow for 84 years after just 7 years of marriage, who spent time fasting and praying6, is an inspiration for the elderly to cultivate the habit of prayer and to be witnesses of God’s salvation. The challenge is for the elderly to be the shining beacons of spiritual intelligence – to encourage the young to be less attached to the things of this world and to be more dependent on God.
Artificial intelligence without spiritual intelligence will lead to the end of the world. The elderly can be the voices crying out in the wilderness to keep a world from going mad with lust, greed, and pride. The elderly can be role models to encourage us to draw closer to God’s loving embrace through suffering. They are also in the best time of life to face and befriend death. Old age is a time to live out the truth that prayer is the vital breath of our souls:
“Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath,
the Christian’s native air,
his watchword at the gates of death:
he enters heaven with prayer.”6
1 CNA 2nd May 2023
2 Nicholas Matthews, Being Flawesome, pg 53
3 Phil 2:6-8 GW
4 Luke 2:29-35, NLT
5 Colossians 4:2, NLT
6 Luke 2:36-38, NLT
7 Prayer Is The Soul’s Sincere Desire, James Montgomery