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AI Challenges Face the new Pope

Posted 12 Apr 2005 at 17:18 UTC by steve Share This

A TechNewsWorld article presents the technology challenges that will be faced by the new Pope in the coming years. Among them is the problem of artificial intelligence. "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?" 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.


Theology of Artificial Intelligence, posted 13 Apr 2005 at 05:51 UTC by AI4U » (Observer)

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 of Earth?

Obviously an intelligent robot can have a psyche -- a non-physical consciousness that thinks ideas, feels emotions, and moves 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?

UOP Christian Union , posted 13 Apr 2005 at 12:36 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

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?

Mentifex apologizes for ASCII mind-diagrams, posted 14 Apr 2005 at 04:20 UTC by AI4U » (Observer)

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.

why should they care?, posted 14 Apr 2005 at 13:28 UTC by dogsbody_d » (Master)

"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 at twister_*

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 works though.

*insert your own AI goal.

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