What should we make of AI Jesus – the latest chatbot that uses ChatGPT technology, and doesn't just border on blasphemy but tips right over into it?
This badly generated image of a white man in a cape is being internet streamed, answering questions – mostly inane – from people worldwide.
It comes at a time when AI (artificial intelligence) bots or, more specifically, large language models, are being touted either as the next level of human flourishing or the end of it.
It is not what Jesus would say, it is not what Jesus would do, it is just plain wrong
There are some serious uses of large language models in Christianity and we looked at some of them here. After all, they take in and use large amounts of text. But they are only as good as their input.
AI Jesus, or more correctly Ask_Jesus, is run by 'The Singularity Group' based in Berlin, which describes itself as "a group of driven and ambitious volunteer activists working on innovative projects to make a real difference in the world.” They don’t claim to be a Christian organisation. Whatever their motives and whatever they meant to do, it comes out as next-level stupidity and holding Jesus up as a joke.
I actually felt sick watching it, – to see the saviour of the world, the greatest figure in human history, being portrayed like this. It is not what Jesus would say, it is not what Jesus would do, it is just plain wrong. We shouldn’t let this wash over us like much of the internet’s weirdness. But what can we do?
- pray for the people feeding funny lines into the chatbot and laughing. Pray they might encounter Christians who will tell them about the real Jesus.
- point questioning people towards something that does answer their questions. Sydney Anglicans run a real question-and-answer site called christianity.net.au where we attempt to biblically answer real questions from inquiring and hurting people.
- use it as an opportunity. Next time someone talks to you about AI – or even AI Jesus – take that chance to speak the good news about the real Saviour who came in space-time history and who answers our deepest need.
God has communicated to us that,
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
(Heb 1:1,2 ESV)
Jesus doesn’t need a chatbot.