We live in an age of rapid change. If, as many believe, the return of Christ is near, then we also live at a time of transition from the “Times of the Gentiles” to the Millennium.
Some see references to modern technology in prophetic portions of the Bible. For example, the scene in Revelation 11 in which the world looks upon the dead bodies of the Two Witnesses, has been understood as a reference to telecommunications: the world can see their bodies via satellite and wireless communication systems.
Some have seen the Mark of the Beast as a computer controlled system. In order to access money or things in action, one would need to sign up to the system in some way (e.g. by receiving an access code, app, or chip), and in so doing, one gives allegiance to the Beast.
Our current epoch is truly astounding (and terrifying) in the rate of change in technology, the new applications for technology, and our dependence upon it. This weekend, I have been exploring the world of computer generated music and chatbots. While AI is still in its infancy, it looks as if, given the right exposure and support, it can grow to achieve incredible things.
This raises the serious question of personhood. At what point does AI become a person (an ontological question) and how will it and we know that it is a person (an epistemological question). For example, if one is a person because one thinks one is (subjective determination), how would an outsider know this. Saying, “I am a person”, does not in and of itself provide indisputable proof. This could merely be a response that the system has learned to generate in response to certain stimuli.
Where we are going with all of this development remains to be seen. If we do not receive godly wisdom in these matters (and obey its precepts), then we may come to serious misfortune. I find myself amazed by what little I have seen so far, but also frightened by the possibility of evil applications of technology by legislators and members of the executive and influential corporate entities.