Evangelical leaders speak out on AI
by Harvest Prude
Posted 4/12/19, 12:24 pm
WASHINGTON—The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) unveiled recommendations Thursday for a Biblical approach to moral and ethical questions related to artificial intelligence (AI). Experts in business, public policy, technology, and theology composed the document, titled “Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles,” which recommends 12 ways Christians can understand and make use of AI in areas such as medicine, war, and public policy. “It is critical that the church be proactive in understanding AI,” ERLC President Russell Moore said in a statement. “It’s also critical that the church insist AI be used in ways consistent with the truth that all people possess dignity and worth, created as they are in the image of God.”
The ERLC made the AI document public at an event Thursday in Washington, D.C. An article on the ERLC website defines AI as “machines that [exhibit] behavior or perform tasks that are characteristic of human intelligence, such as learning, planning, problem solving, recognizing objects, or understanding languages.” The statement says technology can aid Christians in bringing “the unchanging gospel message of hope and reconciliation.” It also says AI can enhance work but should not be used to “usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God.”
More than 65 evangelical leaders signed the statement, including Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear, Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview President John Stonestreet, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly, and Phoenix Seminary professor Wayne Grudem.
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Harvest is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and a reporter for WORLD.