Is There Anything that AI Cannot Do That Human Beings Can Do?

Happy New Year!

This Sunday, I want to discuss what’s new in this new year. 

I can think of nothing newer with greater impact than the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) is about plays in our lives. 

In 2011 I was meeting with Google’s public policy leaders. One leader was from Sweden, and we discussed my interest in Swedenborg, whom he knew a lot about. As the conversation continued, he asked me to address a debate his team was having.

They were asking, “Is there anything that AI cannot do that human beings can do?” In other words, is there anything unique about being human? At first, I thought he was kidding, but I could see he was serious.

“We don’t have many people who believe in religion to discuss this with,” he added. I discussed the good, the beautiful, and the true as unique elements of consciousness to humans. He wasn’t convinced and argued that they were developing algorithms to respond to each of those.

I left the meeting knowing I had failed to make a case that there’s anything unique about humans that separates us from robots.

Recently, a company called Open AI introduced a long-form question-answering AI called ChatGPT. 

The program gives complex answers to questions like a human conversation. You might think of it this way. First, we could ask Google questions, and it would find our answer or answers. Next, companies started using little chat boxes to respond to your request for help with your phone or electric company based on common responses to questions. 

This new technology answers complex questions conversationally.

I don’t think I’m overstating this, but as much as the internet changed our world, I believe AI is about to upend even those changes completely. This chat technology is revolutionary. It is trained to learn what humans mean and respond with detailed information.

This will impact all fields, including the role of spirituality and faith. This Sunday, I’ll share my thoughts on what this means to our lives. Schools are scrambling to find ways to fight the use of this technology, but it is a battle they won’t win.

You can check out the Chat GPT question answered below to my question for this sermon. 

Thanks to those who agreed to preach this coming year. We’ll be putting together a calendar shortly.

See you Sunday as we look at what’s new in our world and how it impacts our spiritual life.


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Chat GPT Answered this Question in 1 Minute

How will AI impact Christianity?

How will There are a variety of ways in which artificial intelligence (AI) could potentially impact Christianity. Some of the ways that AI may affect Christianity include:

  1. Theology: Some people believe that AI could challenge traditional Christian beliefs about the nature of God, the soul, and human consciousness. For example, some people may ask whether AI could be considered a form of life or whether it could be capable of experiencing a relationship with God.
  2. Ethics: AI could also raise ethical questions for Christians, such as whether it is ethical to create AI that is capable of making decisions or whether it is ethical to use AI to make decisions that affect people's lives.
  3. Social justice: AI could also have an impact on social justice issues within Christianity, such as whether it is ethical to use AI to automate jobs that could potentially be performed by people, and whether AI could be used to perpetuate or challenge existing power imbalances.
  4. Worship: Some churches have begun using AI to enhance their worship services, such as through the use of virtual reality or automated music systems. This could potentially change the way that people experience and participate in worship.

Overall, the impact of AI on Christianity is likely to be multifaceted and complex. It will likely depend on the specific ways in which AI is used and how it is integrated into the lives of Christians.

Readings for The Coming Sunday:

Luke 17: 20-21

The Coming of the Kingdom

20 Some Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. His answer was, “The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen. 21 No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is within you.”

Genesis 1:26-27

26 Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” 27 So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female,

Swedenborg Insight

Our Life After Death (pages 47-52)

We can see that our outward life consists of our works and deeds, and the quality of our inner life manifests through them.

“Works and deeds,” though, does not mean works and deeds solely the way they look in outward form. It also includes their deeper nature. Everyone knows, really, that all our deeds and works come from our intention and thought, for if they did not come from there, they would be no more than motions like those of machines or robots. So a deed or work in its own right is simply an effect that derives its soul and life from our volition and thought, even to the point that it is volition and thought in effect, volition and thought in an outward form. 

It follows, then, that the quality of the volition and thought that cause the deed or work determines the quality of the deed or work. If the thought and intent are good, then the deeds and results are good; but if the thought and intent are evil, then the deeds and works are evil, even though they may look alike in outward form. A thousand people can behave alike—that is, can do the same thing, so much alike that in outward form, one can hardly tell the difference. Yet each deed in its own right is unique because it comes from a different intent.

We can see that our outward life consists of our works and deeds, and the quality of our inner life manifests through them.

Ross Capon Shares Holiday Selections with Musical Enthusiasts:

Dear Church Friends/Musicians, Conductors, Trumpeters & Oboeists--

The past week I've been sending to family members and cousins daily e-mails with various music Christmas and non. I'm sharing here with you what I sent for Christmas Day and for December 26. 

For Christmas, The Trumpet's Loud Clangour from Handel's cantata, Ode for St. Cecilia's Day. And excerpts from Charpentier's Christmas Oratorio including the final chorus. When I first heard this recording 30 years ago, my impression was that the chorus (Les Arts Florissants under William Christie) was literally trilling in unison, which I doubted was possible. The last chorus includes wonderful enthusiasm for the phrase "exultate jubilate Deus" -- reflected both in the music and this performance.

Here is December 26 cover note: "Romantic oboe concerti by well-known composers are relatively hard to find. Vincenzo Bellini (1801-35) is known mainly for his operas, including Norma and I Puritani, but here is his 8-minute oboe concerto. Four movements connected together -- the lively music starts at 3:59."

The Bach Choir Of Bethlehem - Ode For St. Cecilia's Day

Charpentier_ Christmas

Charpentier_Xmas (8 minutes)

BackgroundMusic_Oboe Concerto In E Flat By Bellini

Happy New Year!

Ross B. Capon

Thought for the Week:

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