In response to such questions, Rob High, chief technology officer of IBM Watson, names transparency as one of the most important characteristics of ethical AI. Humans need to know when they are interacting with an algorithm, and what its purpose and expectations are. Others are calling for more high-tech professionals with a humanities education who can “grasp the whys and hows of human behavior.” Just last month, a leading Silicon Valley engineer wished she had “absorbed lessons about how to identify and interrogate privilege, power structures, structural inequality, and injustice. That I’d had opportunities to debate my peers and develop informed opinions on philosophy and morality.”
As Christians, we believe that our bodies, our personalities, and other forms of human expression are outward manifestations of the soul that resides in each of us. For Pope John Paul II, this theology of the body was so central to faith that he dedicated 129 lectures to it. “The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine,” he said. “It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus to be a sign of it.”
Whether we are ready or not, we are all riding an unstoppable train toward a society in which AI will be almost as prevalent as other humans and these questions of body and soul will become all the more pressing. Despite the uncharted path before us, this is the moment for those with training, gifts, and interest in engineering and human behavior to step into the fray. The apostle Paul’s exhortation to offer our bodies as is just as relevant in this next technological revolution. With God’s wisdom and discernment, we can encourage AI that enhances our appreciation for the embodiment of the divine, rather than detracts from it.