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Is Explosion of Artificial Intelligence a Threat to the Bible, Morality?

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The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought with it lively conversations about new technological possibilities, warnings, and concerns over potential abuses and misuses.

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Dr. John Plake, chief program officer at the American Bible Society, told CBN News his organization set out in its annual “State of the Bible” survey to “look at this unique angle on the Bible and technology.”

The American Bible Society frequently asks specific questions about the intersections of faith and technology, but with the AI discussion rapidly expanding in recent months, researchers decided to ask people a series of positive and negative questions about the burgeoning tool.

“We looked at things like, ‘Can AI be relied on for moral reasoning?’ or, ‘Would you be against AI helping your pastor to prepare his sermon or perhaps preparing the sermon and your pastor just delivering it?’ — things like that,” Plake said. “We asked, ‘Do you believe that AI goes against biblical teaching?'”

The “State of the Bible” report then broke down the results by generation and level of Scripture engagement, and the survey yielded some fascinating findings:

“People who are more engaged with Scripture tend to be more skeptical of artificial intelligence,” Plake said. “And I think part of that is that they’re tuned into moral hazards that come about when we think about machines doing our thinking for us.”

Scripture-engaged respondents were less optimistic about AI’s future benefits, less likely to believe it aids in moral reasoning, and less likely to see it as enriching spiritual practices or promoting “spiritual health.”

It’s not just Christians who are cautious, though. The general public seems overwhelmingly unsure of what the future holds and appears to be more driven by fear than excitement over what’s to come.

The results found 68% of the public disagreed with the idea AI could “promote spiritual health” and 58% also disagreed when asked if it could “aid in moral reasoning.”

Back on the faith front, the so-called Moveable Middle — people willing to give the Bible a chance but not necessarily engaged — had a slightly different perspective.

“The Movable Middle, however, are more likely to believe AI might enhance their spiritual practices and health, possibly indicating a desire to connect with God and Scripture with the right tool,” a press release read.

In addition to these concerns among Christians more generally, Plake said researchers also sat down with experts to discern what areas of viable use AI could have in the church.

AI is just one of the many topics the “State of the Bible” report will address throughout the year. The American Bible Society will release a new chapter every month.

“Coming up in June, we’re going to take another look at human flourishing,” Plake said. “In July, we’ll look at the Bible and neighboring. How does someone really being into Scripture or being Bible-engaged affect the way they relate with their friends and neighbors around them?”

Watch to find out more about what’s to come in the 2024 “State of the Bible.”

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.