WeeklyTech #183

Does AI Threaten the Human Future?

Everyone’s been trying to get up to speed on artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in our society since the public release of ChatGPT by OpenAI in November 2022. ChatGPT became the fastest-growing consumer application in history, amassing over 1 million users by December 2022, 100 million by January, and over 200 million users as of August 2023.

Scholars and practitioners have been thinking for years about how these technologies are shaping us as human beings and altering our perception of the world around us. The Age of AI and Our Human Future is a brief yet helpful nontechnical introduction to AI, its role in our communities today, and where we might be headed as a society in the future.

This volume has three coauthors: Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state; Eric Schmidt, former CEO and chairman of Google; and Daniel Huttenlocher, the founding dean of MIT’s Schwarzman College of Computing.The goal of this book is to empower readers with “a template with which they can decide for themselves what that future should be.” Ultimately, they argue, “Humans still control [AI]. We must shape it with our values” (6).

The Rundown

 4 Principles for Practicing Apologetics by Chris Watkin | The Gospel Coalition

When it comes to apologetics, I need all the help I can get. Here are four wise principles I’ve been taught in recent years that I strive to remember as I commend and contend for the Christian faith.

“Neither Good, nor Bad, nor Neutral”: 4 Questions for Missions in a Digital Age from Annual Missions Conference by Travis Hearne | SBTS News

While evolving technology propels the world to new and digital frontiers, Southern Seminary confronted the unique questions of missions in a technological age at Future Shock, the 2023 Missions Conference hosted by the Bevin Center for Missions and Mobilization, on September 15. The event brought together experts on missions and technology to tackle the pressing challenges of modern digital tools and platforms reshaping the global missions’ landscape.

In Defense of Individuality: A Friendly Critique of Carl Trueman’s The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by John F. Doherty | Public Discourse

Carl Trueman’s 2020 book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, is a remarkably thorough, charitable, and readable intellectual genealogy of the strange philosophy of the sexual revolution, which Trueman and others call “expressive individualism.” This theory, which is heavily influenced by Marxism, teaches “that all . . . moral judgments are nothing but expressions of preference, . . . attitude, or feeling.”

Why Christians Need Philosophy by Noah Senthil | The Gospel Coaltion

Lewis saw himself as a “British Boethius,” according to one biographer. He participated in a heritage of ancient ideas while living on the cusp of a modern “dark ages” that discarded the great tradition of the past. With Boethius and Lewis, we must agree it’s not a time to stress what divides us from the classical philosophers. It’s time to resurrect old ideas buried by modernity. Here are four reasons why.

Immersive Tech Obscures Reality. AI Will Threaten It by Jameson Spivack and Daniel Berrick | WIRED

LAST WEEK, AMAZON announced it was integrating AI into a number of products—including smart glasses, smart home systems, and its voice assistant, Alexa—that help users navigate the world. This week, Meta will unveil its latest AI and extended reality (XR) features, and next week Google will reveal its next line of Pixel phones equipped with Google AI. If you thought AI was already “revolutionary,” just wait until it’s part of the increasingly immersive responsive, personal devices that power our lives.