Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

6-3-2005

Abstract

The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) leads to many questions about what it means to be human. Some researchers claim that inevitably computers will reach a certain threshold of complexity that will enable them to “think” and artificial consciousness will emerge. This speculation, taken a step further, leads some to believe that computer technology will eventually set humans free from the frailty of their bodies and enable them to achieve immortality. Underlying these claims is a reductionistic philosophy about what it means to be human and how one approaches the mind-body problem. Ever since the fall people have wanted to be like God, and the pretension that humans can create a conscious being in their image illustrates a pride like that found at the “Tower of Babel”. These notions illustrate a general trust in technology as savior of the human condition known as technicist. Related to the questions of what it means to be human is the notion of personhood. Even though they are not human, could computers or robots one day be considered as persons? These claims will be examined in the light of the scriptural notion of what it means to be created in the image of God along with the normative principles for the role of artificial intelligence and computer technology.

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