Getting Our (Biblical) Story Straight on AI and Christian Discipleship

Getting our (Biblical) Story Straight on AI and Christian Discipleship

What is the story you are telling yourself or being told about the AI revolution we are living through? Does it make you excited, fearful or confused (or all three!)? One thing’s for sure: AI provides great opportunities to think about and have conversations around life’s fundamental questions, for which we find terrific guidance in the Bible. This class explores three of those questions with leading Christian experts on AI ethics and theology in Seattle. It will be lead by David Brenner who is board chair of AI and Faith, a global community of 165 faith-oriented AI technologists, theologians, ethicists, faith leaders and related scientists and professionals founded in 2018.

April 14: Where Are We Going? Death, Apocalypse and AI

This class compares the Bible’s Big Story of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration against the stories told by Big Tech companies, AI “Acclerationists,” and transhumanists, about where AI can take us.  Let’s engage this technology secure in God’s ultimate plans for history and our personal lives.

Guest Interviewee:  AI and Faith Advisor Prof Michael Paulus, Dean of the Library at Seattle Pacific University, author of Artificial Intelligence and the Apocalyptic Imagination, and editor of AI, Faith and the Future.  

April 21: Who Are We? Imago Dei v. Imago AI

Applying the Biblical framework of “heart, soul, mind and strength”, this class explores what is AI and how we can shape and use it without being shaped by it. Can AI functionally replicate consciousness, sentience, and what it means to have a soul? Not confusing our fundamental categories is really important and a great place to start a conversation with non-Christians.

Guest Interviewee: AI and Faith Advisor Dr. Nathan Colaner is a Senior Instructor and Director of Business Analytics at Seattle University, as well as the Managing Director of SU's Ethics and Technology program. Nathan is also a contributing author to the new Vatican research report, Encountering AI.

 April 28: What Should We Do with AI? Balancing Risk and Reward in our Personal Choices

AI provides previously unforeseen opportunities for advancing almost every area of human endeavor: to name just a few, scientific understanding, health care, education, broad engagement with the arts, and entertainment. It also brings with it uncertain changes to how society functions and our personal autonomy and well-being. Will AI be able to make moral choices? Or are good outcomes all up to us and our own choices as consumers, citizens of the world, and disciples in the Kingdom of God? Ultimately, how can we each ethically and wisely engage with AI applications?
Guest Interviewee: AI and Faith Research Fellow Dr. Gretchen Huizenga is a former educator, communications professional, and has been for several years a producer and host of the Microsoft Research Podcast. Gretchen recently received her PhD from the University of Washington on the thesis topic “Righteous AI.”