What is it about?

Even if AI (artificial intelligence) at a level beyond rapid computation, machine learning, and cute gadgets never comes to pass, theologians must speculate along with transhumanist visionaries about the prospect of superintelligence, the prophesied extinction of Homo sapiens, and the survival of a posthuman species. While advances in AI technology that benefit humanity should be celebrated, extravagant utopian promises should be met with a healthy dose of Frankenfear, that is, caution.

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Why is it important?

All over the world the excitement and worry about the future of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), intelligence amplification (IA), and transhumanism is exploding. It is time for public theologians and social ethicists to anticipate what might happen and weigh in.


On the one hand, we can be thankful for the exciting possibilities that new technologies open up. On the other hand, when technological progress becomes an ideology which overpromises utopia, then skepticism must kick in. Utopia, or better, the kingdom of God can be won only with divine grace and not the engineer's new invention.

Prof Ted F Peters
Graduate Theological Union

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This page is a summary of: Artificial Intelligence, Transhumanism, and Frankenfear, September 2019, JSTOR, DOI: 10.2307/j.ctvrnfpwx.5.
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