Is artificial intelligence 'more dangerous than nukes'?

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Is artificial intelligence ‘more dangerous than nukes’?

October 29, 2014 -

The latest Harvard Business Review‘s cover story claims that “smart, connected products will transform your business.”  The article tells us that Ralph Lauren’s Polo Tech Shirt, available next year, will send distance covered, calories burned, movement intensity, heart rate, and similar data to the wearer’s mobile device.  Babolat’s latest tennis racket is the Play Pure Drive, with sensors and connectivity in the racket handle to track ball speed, spin and impact location through a smartphone app.  And a Tesla vehicle needing repairs can autonomously call for a corrective software download or send notification to the customer with an invitation for a valet to pick up the car and deliver it for service.

But all is not well in the technology world.  Elon Musk is the chief executive of Tesla and also founder of SpaceX, a revolutionary space transport services company.  Speaking recently at MIT, he was asked about artificial intelligence (AI), the growing capacity of robots to think like humans.  His response: we need to “make sure we don’t do something very foolish.”  He later tweeted that AI is “potentially more dangerous than nukes.”

Our world has more knowledge than ever before.  But how is our escalation of information working for us?  No generation has adapted to technology more than today’s teenagers.  Last night I spoke at a youth ministry event, where I was asked to describe the need for more outreach to their generation.  I had to report that 62 percent of high school seniors have had sex; 70 percent of teenagers access porn regularly; America has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the Western world.  Would you say our moral trajectory is upward or downward?

We have knowledge, but what we need is wisdom.  We need to know how to apply knowledge to the practical problems we all face.  And since wisdom is one of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8), we need the Spirit to have true wisdom. If you and I will seek and share the wisdom of God, others will want what we have.

In 1 Kings 10, the queen of Sheba (present-day Ethiopia or Yemen) had heard of Solomon’s wisdom, so “she came to test him with hard questions” (v. 1).  And not only the queen: “the whole earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind” (v. 24).  The whole earth is still seeking the wisdom of God.

How can you and I know God’s wisdom for our day?  In Daniel 10, an angel told the prophet, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words” (v. 12).  “Set your heart” translates Hebrew that means “surrender your will.”  God cannot reveal his wisdom if we are not willing to follow it.

So give God a blank check—tell him you will do anything he asks you to do.  Submit yourself completely to his will, whatever it turns out to be.  Then, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).  Every time.

Jesus is Truth (John 14:6), so every search for truth leads ultimately to him.  Are you seeking his wisdom today?

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