AIOCS Conversations: Arseny Ermakov

A conversation with The Revd Dr Arseny Ermakov from Eva Burrows College at the University of Divinity, Melbourne VIC Australia, on his recent initiatives.

Arseny and his colleague, The Revd Associate Professor Glen O’Brien, designed and are in the process of delivering a suite of three course units in futurism, technological advancements, human enhancement, and the AI. For details, go here.

In this conversation, Arseny shares with us his insights in these topics from the viewpoint of a biblical scholar interested in science, technology, and science fiction. Do the Scriptures tell us anything about the origin of technology? Arseny believes that much can be gleaned from throughout the biblical narratives, both in terms of positive assessments of technology and as negative appraisals. And while wisdom becomes apparent mainly when we consider the scriptural narratives attentively, we are not left without guidance for the matters at hand. The conversation remains open-ended, however, as both Arseny and I could not give a definitive answer to his challenging question: Would anyone enrol an AI as a liturgical aid and accept it as an active member of a worshipping community?

If you are concerned with these or related matters, check out this video recording:

by Doru Costache

7 June 2021 © AIOCS

And an ad:

Come and study ‘Imagined Futures in Popular Culture’ at EBC next semester. This unit explores anticipated futures that are found in popular culture with the intention of providing a theological response to developing technologies and their likely impact on humanity and on human societies. Artificial intelligence, human enhancement technology, advanced surveillance techniques, and space exploration, have all given rise to both utopian and dystopian visions of the future. Students will explore science fiction novels, film and television, comic books, and gaming, among other cultural expressions, and reflect theologically on their function in the making of meaning, using interdisciplinary theological reflection. The link is to the undergraduate version of the unit but there is also a 900 level postgrad unit available.

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