Our nation and the wider world is experiencing a once in a lifetime generation-shifting moment. Throughout all of this social upheaval and global health crisis, some are beginning to protest the simple guidelines to wear a mask in public on theological grounds or even out of a sheer rebellious spirit.
We live in a world of irony. We are willing to post some of the most intimate details and events of our lives online. We gladly sign up for freemium services, like social media and email, that require us to consent to various forms of data tracking in exchange for a free premium service.
Probably one of the biggest questions I get when I talk about technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), is how to equip people in our churches to begin to think wisely about these innovations. Often when topics like AI, facial recognition, or privacy come up in conversation, many people react with glazed over eyes because these topics seem so far off and disconnected from our daily lives.
The world’s first sex robot debuted in fall 2018 to much fanfare. Many joined waiting lists to purchase this AI-equipped doll from Abyss Creations. The doll, named Harmony X, was one of the first AI-empowered sex dolls on the market.
As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to spread through our communities, many families are spending extra time at home per the recommendation of most health professionals in order to slow down the spread of the virus as we seek to love our neighbors well. My family, in particular, has been under quarantine because of my wife’s chemotherapy treatments and compromised immune system. Being cooped up for an extended time can be challenging, especially if you or a loved one are sick.
If we are honest with ourselves, the last few weeks (and likely many more to come) have been extremely difficult. Some of us have become sick or known loved ones who contracted COVID-19. Others have lost their jobs and livelihoods due to stay-at-home orders put in place to slow the spread of the virus. While many others have seen little day-to-day impact of the virus spread in their communities, they are still lost in the news and updates from the frontlines. Regardless of where you find yourself, we all know how easy it has become to get lost in a sea of overwhelming and depressing news online.
From the smart doorbells that guard our homes to the millions of images that we post on social media to our phones, which never leave our side, tracking us in real time, we live in a world, mostly of our own choosing, where privacy is becoming more passe.