Bulletin Banner

Return to 1st Quarter 2024 articles.

The title of this article is DOES AI THREATEN HUMANITY? with an AI generated head.

Movie poster for When Worlds Collide.

The media thrives on exaggerations and misrepresentations involving doomsday scenarios. One of the biggest movies when I was a teenager was titled When Worlds Collide. It was a science fiction story of a rogue star and its planet hitting and destroying Earth with only a select group of humans escaping. A recent popular movie was built around scientists developing an atomic bomb while fearing it would destroy the planet. Several media presentations have suggested that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will wipe out humanity. Media outlets like The Guardian, The New York Post, Entrepreneur, and the BBC have all indicated that AI is a huge threat to humanity.

R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems. Science fiction has long postulated that machines will replace humans and rule the world. Many science fiction stories revolve around non-human enemies of humanity or heroes such as R2-D2 and C-3PO. What can computers do or not do? Is it true that AI is a huge threat to humanity?

Backdrop of CPU chip colorful numbers and fractal elements in perspective on the subject of computers mathematics science and education

AI can do some jobs faster and with greater accuracy than humans. Computers can build and run automation systems, causing the loss of human jobs. Computers can process languages more quickly than humans. They can also process numbers faster and more accurately, meaning that AI can predict economic change, develop weaponry, and invade human privacy quickly and efficiently. AI can create images, both authentic and fake, and even produce videos known as deepfakes. AI can deliver fake news with video support that is so good humans cannot tell what is real and what is not.

Hacker man in headset and eyeglasses with pc computer keyboard

As we consider whether AI is a huge threat to humanity, we must understand that the dangers are philosophical and not inevitable. There is an adage about computers that says, “garbage in, garbage out.” Building computers capable of producing AI requires intelligence and design by humans. Like almost everything humans create, we can use AI to mislead and damage or to improve people's lives. As in everything else, we desperately need people guided by Jesus Christ's teachings to decide how we will use AI.

— John N. Clayton

Picture credits:
© jes2ufotov/Bigstock.com
© Willrow Hoodv/Bigstock.com
© agsandrew/Bigstock.com
© dolgachov/Bigstock.com

Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.