As part of project “Contemporary Orthodox Christian Views of Artificial Intelligence in ‘Cradle’ and ‘Diaspora’ Communities” (INSBS Collaboration Fund Collab/01/106), Efthymios Nicolaidis and I browse the internet in search for relevant information. We are at the stage of collecting information from unofficial Orthodox websites and blogs, after which we will proceed to review serious literature pertaining to the field.
I must say that, so far, what we have found out is disconcerting. With very few exceptions, which will be addressed in the main outcome of this project, that is, a journal article to be submitted to an international publisher, most unofficial Orthodox voices on the internet appear to find a common denominator in advancing conspiracy theories about AI in particular and technological progress more broadly. When curious readers land on a webpage of this sort, maintained by eager “apologists,” they cannot decide what is it that they discover there: is it science fiction, cheap apocalypticism, or both? In such places, information and lucid assessment are at a premium, while delusion and false prophecy are the norm. The portrait of Orthodox Christianity that emerges from these places in the internet’s wasteland is of a proudly aggressive and ignorant religion, doomed to reach the rubbish bin of history.
These findings, and we will disclose the relevant sources in our final analysis, prove how important serious research in this area is. The portrait of Orthodox Christianity by the sources in question does not originate in the great tradition of cultural conversation and inclusiveness of the early Christian and Byzantine centuries, nor in the thinking of the most respectable Orthodox theologians and scholars of modern times. It is on this tradition and on these theologians and scholars that our analysis will rely in order to offer an Orthodox response to AI and the continuous technological advancements of our times. Stay tuned!
20 January 2023 © AIOCS
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