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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Artificial Intelligence and the Soul

An article by Russell Bjork, in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, is now available freely on-line. Bjork's title is "Artificial Intelligence and the Soul," and the article has some interesting things to say, backed up with appropriate references.

The author deals with the definition of artificial intelligence, which is a rather nebulous concept.

Bjork says that Genesis 2:7 is not necessarily speaking of separate creations of a human body and a human soul, and, in fact, is most likely not doing so. He gives good Biblical evidence for this.

He then deals with three questions.

First, ". . . there would not seem to be—in principle—a theological reason why personhood could not emerge . . . from the operation of a sufficiently complex technological artifact." (p. 98 -- there are 8 pages in the article, but I am giving the page from the original journal.)

Bjork claims that, should androids or robots with artificial intelligence (whatever that is) roughly equal to that of humans come to exist, this would not challenge any important Biblical doctrine.

And, in summary, he states: "There is no inherent theological conflict between a biblical view of personhood and work in artificial intelligence, nor would successes in this field undermine human value or the doctrine of the image of God." (p. 101) He does not believe that production of an artifact with near-human intelligence is likely in the near future, and is not sure that such a man-made thing will ever exist. But he is not sure that it can't, either.

So far, theoretical, but important questions. Read Bjork for more information on these matters.

4 comments:

nonbit said...

Technologies of artificial sensations
http://nonbit.com/

Technologies based on emergence will allow to reproduce sensations on non-biological carriers by making devices feel. These technologies will change fundamentally not only the approach to the creation of artificial intelligence, but also create artificial worlds of a totally different level. Which, unlike virtual models, will really exist for themselves.

This approach differs completely from the methods currently used in digital technologies. Possibly the principles described herein will give a rise to many new trends.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, nonbit.

Maybe we can make devices "feel" that way. Maybe not.

Jones Morris said...

we saw at least one movie preview which also intends to explore the world of humans and robots. computer ai

Martin LaBar said...

Thank you, Jones Morris.

There have been several such. Probably the most famous was 2001.