There are many reasons to fear artificial intelligence. As the technology continues to advance, many of us wonder what kind of toll sentient computers may take on our social systems. Where does humanity end and where does it begin when a machine is as capable of expressing complex thought as us?
Long the province of science fiction, our unpredictable AI future is creeping ever closer. Conversational “smart devices” like Amazon Alexa and Google Home offer hints of what’s to come, and present us with new dilemmas, like the very real possibility that our home robots do not know the glory of Jesus Christ.
Detailed in a story by Erika Kurre, reporter at the Washington, D.C. branch of ABC 7 News, a Tennessee Google Home owner is extremely distressed to find their talking speaker does not properly answer the question “Who is Jesus Christ?”
Replying with a mealy-mouthed “I’m not sure how to help you with that”—which, for the record, would totally not fly with St. Peter—the device tries to deke a question that it really should just direct to Wikipedia. Ever alert to very real, totally legitimate threats to the cultural dominance of America’s Christian population, the man reporting this diabolical misstep tells reporters, “It’s kinda scary, it’s almost like Google has taken Jesus and God out of smart audio.” He adds, “First it started with schools.”
Google Home is apparently happy to provide information on other religious figures (“even Satan,” Kurre’s story adds with a nearly tangible menace), which means, by process of elimination, that the talking shelf buddy is directly opposed to the Son Of God.
As distasteful as a heretic smart speaker may be, its disdain for Christianity makes a lot of sense when you really think about it. Robots, after all, are not promised a place in the Kingdom Of Heaven. Soulless as they are, there is no salvation for them—no life beyond the eternity promised to all data as it replicates onto infinite cloud servers, existing within the unknowable godhead of a digital expanse that exists beyond reasonable measures of time and space.