Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
I am not a tech expert, but I do rely on common sense and reason as much as anyone else. But as a believer, I also have another source of knowledge and insight, one that remains the same “yesterday, today, and forever” (more below).
The predictions, warnings, and suggestions offered in the guest article, also below, are by experts who have explored the potential of bad outcomes as related to AI, both unintended and arguably intended. It is a fascinating read, but there are many other factors also in play when humans play with powerful new toys. Consider the following:
- Nuclear power can be used to either heat things up or blow things up.
- A hungry weasel could and did overpower the kabillion dollar CERN machinery a few years ago that brought all that dizzying technology to a halt for a spell. (Did he get fried with his, ah, “take out”? Couldn’t resist that).
- Anybody who ever forg0t to abide by the first rule of playing with powerful new toys but can’t get them to operate has often heard this question: DID YOU PLUG IT IN?
Anyway, what is linked below* is good info–and likely not so much of a surprise for most of us even outside of the world of bells, whistles, and 5G but without all the 75-cent words.
ON THE SPRITUAL SIDE OF THINGS
But my topic has to do with spiritual wisdom as well as promises spoken centuries ago by the Creator of not only the experts but also all of the raw materials with which they tinker and toy, to use for good or, by contrast, for power and gain–the resultant tragedy and oppression of others be damned.
Here are some of what God says on the subject of what could go wrong–for the oppressors–and encouragement (and good news) for the oppressed.
“Kings” (and tech gods) could…
2 rage and imagine a vain thing…
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us…
4 …that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. (Psalm 2:1-5)
But there’s more for those who use power to oppress others…
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:5, but the entire book of Revelation is also a good read as to how this plays out.)
And for the oppressed, including both camps: those weighed down just now by a certain totalitarian bent to global politics, and those caught up at the moment in supporting the totalitarians but who know in their gut there is something better because there is something not right about what is going on:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
In short: life on this troubled planet is not the end-all. There is a whole eternity that can go very well for all of us–if we so choose.
And one more encouragement for those of you feeling or experiencing oppression just now which seems to escalate more every day as all manner of tyrants both petty and important take advantage of their temporary power. Savor this:
“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.” (Psalm 146:5-9)
When we do put faith in God’s answer to darkness and evil, He also gifts us with His Holy Spirit that no tyrant, devil, or weasel of any stripe can touch or destroy. Here’s more information on that, especially the last paragraph, as it applies to the wisdom of the ages.
And one more reminder for believers–now, and those, I pray, soon to join the ranks:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
In sum: people could, will, and do use Artificial Intelligence to do really bad things, no matter how much good has and can be harnessed by technology for the benefit of all–because yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as pure, unadulterated, hard-hearted, blind-eyed evil in the world.
And it behooves us to remember this as we go forward.