article presents the technology challenges that will be faced by the
new Pope in the coming years. Among them is the problem of artificial
the Church believes strongly that a woman who has lost brain function is
still alive and a fetus at its earliest stages is human, what will they
think about a virtual something that emulates a person to the highest
degree?" Or how about a physical something like a robot that's as
intelligent as a human?
Among the other technological dilemmas facing the new Pope will be
cloning, cybernetics, medical technology, virtual reality, and even
blogging. Considering it took them something like 350 years to apologize
to Galileo and sort out that little Earth
moving around the Sun thing, I hope they're up to taking on the
problem of intelligent machines.
Now that AI has
been solved and machines can think -- albeit
primitively -- what are the implications for theology? How will
human beings think about the nature of man vis-a-vis God when a new
species of mind has emerged to share the planet in a joint stewardship
Obviously an intelligent robot can have a psyche -- a
non-physical consciousness that
mountains -- child's play, as it were, for an Apotheosis -- but
may a mechanical robot have a soul in the religious sense? If God
creates a new soul for a human baby at the moment of conception, why is
the human baby any more special than a newborn robot possessing all the
qualities of personhood plus perhaps a superintelligence that makes
human intelligence look tiny and puny?
I could have sworn that theologans had considered this issue some
months ago which was covered in an earlier thread. It would be
interesting to see what they to say. When I was at university, I asked
a girl form the Christian union what she thought of people making
androids or other humanoid robots. She said it was bad and basically
went against gods ways. If this is a commonly held view then this
could be a problematic issue to resolve.
(To Mentifex) have you ever considered using visio viewer or something
like that to do your diagrams with?
Sorry; I'm just not much of a graphic artist. But I *am* an
opportunist, so here is a typical Mentifex mind-diagram.
/^^^^^^^^^^^\ How A Mind Generates A Thought /^^^^^^^^^^^\
/ EYE \ CONCEPTS / EAR \
| _______ | | | | __________ | |
| / cat \!!!!|!!!|!| | / \ | |
| / image \---|---|-+ | ( Sentence )-------|-------------\ |
| \ recog / | |c| | \__________/ | | |
| \_______/ | |a| | | \ ______ | auditory | |
| recognition | |t| | | \/ Verb \ | | |
| of a cat | |s|e| | ( Phrase ) | memory | |
| initiates | | |a| ___V__ /\______/ | | |
| spreading | f| |t| / Noun \/ | | channel | |
| activation | i| | | ( Phrase ) | | ________ | |
| _______ | s| | | \______/ _V_____ | / \ | |
| / new \ | h|_|_| | /English\ | / "cats" \| |
| / percept \ | / \ __V____ \ Verbs /-|-\ "eat" / |
| \ engram /---|--\ Psi /--/ Nouns \ \_____/ | \ "fish" / |
| \_______/ | \___/ \_______/-----------|---\______/ |
The "Eye," "Concepts" and "Ear" columns represent memory depositions
over time in the 2D plane of the mindgrid, while the Sentence structure
shows a linguistic tree rising up perpendicularly from the mindgrid. I
guess it would need a 3-D diagram.
Anyway, speaking of Catholicism, the Pope, and AI theology --
Mentifex here learned Latin in Catholic high school and has just
recently carried AI robotics memes into a worldwide Latin-language forum.
"If the Church believes strongly that a woman who has lost
brain function is still alive and a fetus at its earliest stages is
human, what will they think about a virtual something that emulates a
person to the highest degree?"
No soul, no problem. Though you could argue that since it seems
relatively easy to make a baby that god will happily provide with a
soul, then there's not really any reason why he wouldn't provide one to
some silicon or whatever.
It's all a bit of a pointless backwater really. Why should the church
care about anything that scientists say or do? If some people are still
happy to believe that the universe is 6000 years old then they're not
gonna change their world views if you build as robot that can _beat them
Oh, unless we invent an AI that's REALLY clever so that it can actually
convince people to believe things. I don't think that's how belief
*insert your own AI goal.