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An AI written ‘corrected’ Bible?

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Over the summer, one of the members of the congregation of the church my wife and I attend got up and made a statement that I haven’t been able to let go of yet. He stated that he read a report on the Internet that by 2028 AI technology would create a ‘corrected’ Bible. His tone was very much that this ‘is the end of the world as we know it’.

I looked it up and came across this article about futurist Yuval Harari saying that an AI might come up with a new ‘correct’ religion. As I understand it, he says that all religions are claiming their own religious texts come from a superhuman intelligence, while all other religious texts were written by people. An AI, having superhuman intelligence, could create new ideas and even write a Bible to support them.

I have my doubts over all of this.

First off, the Bible has already been written. Trying to write a ‘corrected’ version doesn’t make sense to me. It’s sort of like writing a ‘corrected’ version of Shakespeare. You may get something that sounds like Shakespeare, or it might be all the texts of Shakespeare put in some different order, but it isn’t going to be better than the original. Maybe the AI will rewrite the Bible and put it in better chronological order? Still, that isn’t writing a new Bible.

Current AI technology does not think or create on it’s own. Generative AI, like ChatGPT (for text) or Midjourney (for art) takes a massive amount of data and uses it to predict what words come next, or what lines of art to use. It can parrot all sorts of things, and give you very thorough answers to questions, or lovely pieces of art, but it isn’t coming up with anything new. It isn’t creating things from scracth out of thin air.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is what people mean when they talk about artificial intelligence. This is the level of AI that can think like a human being, or better than human, if the scientific community predictions are correct. This level of AI would be able to observe the world around it, and draw it’s own conclusions and be able to come up with new thoughts on its own. A friend of mine has always said that you can’t have artificial intelligence when intelligence doesn’t occur in the natural world. (He’s a philosophy major and a cynic.) AGI does not yet exist and is likely to be several years off, at the very earliest. It’s a tough nut to crack so I suspect it will take a while longer.

And if an AI does produce a “corrected” version of the Bible, so what? It doesn’t mean you are required to use it. Unless the government takes control of all religious matters and forces the adoption of the new Bible, you do not have to use a new Bible. And if the government does take control of all religious matters then we have bigger problems to deal with than a “corrected” Bible.

Ultimately, what I got from the article above is that one guy thinks that AIs, having superhuman intelligence (which they have not achieved yet) will be able to create a religion that somehow gets it ‘right’ when all the other religions have somehow gotten it wrong. What that ‘right’ religion is and how it might look, he doesn’t say. And if AI does create a new religion, you’re free to switch to the new religion if it makes more sense to you. That’s one of the great things about America. You have the freedom to change your religion if you want. As for me, call me old school, but even if the Christian religion isn’t perfect, it works well enough for me. YMMV.

If you liked this look into the way my mind works, why not buy me a chocolate chip cookie through my Ko-Fi page?

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