This week on the ReligionProf podcast I was delighted to have Robert Geraci appear as a guest, speaking from where he currently is in Bangalore, about the research projects that led to him being there. Robert and I share longstanding interests in the intersection of religion, science fiction, and/or technology. When it comes to the latter, AI has been a particular focus for us both. Below you’ll find a range of links to interesting content that explores these themes, as well as the opportunity to see a movie referred to in the podcast.
Will tech make the world less equitable? There is a narrative going around that champions tech as the great equalizer, capable of canceling out social inequities with alacrity. But, therein lies the problem, as tech is not creating more opportunities for upward social mobility, it’s generating fewer opportunities. Companies are increasingly using tech to complete tasks that humans used to be assigned. Artificial intelligence is slowly but surely becoming more intuitive, mimicking the thought process and language skills of a human being.
Although we haven’t faced the brunt of it yet, it’s coming, and it will hit the global economy like a tsunami, washing away millions of jobs in a decade. This will create a deeper divide between the haves and the have not, with people of status and privilege maintaining their wealth and the rest of us having to figure it out for ourselves. Although this is my doomsday scenario, we should prepare our students for all eventualities. Sometimes tech is an equalizer, but it is also sometimes the wedge.
An article reported on a robot that delivers Buddhist teachings. Another mentioned a Buddhist temple featuring an android deity, about which NPR more recently had an update.
David Brin blogged about a number of topics related to AI. Christian Century explored the boundary between science and theology. Episcopal Cafe had a piece about bishops in the digital age.
Globethics had an article on utopian and apocalyptic views of AI and how they relate to the ethical challenges presented by artificial intelligence.
It turns out, you can watch the movie Anukul that Robert mentions in the podcast on YouTube!