Mind Matters Reporting on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial robot hand touch human hand

Will We Outsource Religion and Spirituality to AI ?

A philosopher makes the case. But he worries, are we really outsourcing caring about others?

Last Sunday, we looked at the question raised by Professor David O’Hara of Augustana University (South Dakota) as to whether AI could someday have mystical experiences. Of course, a lot depends on whether AI can have any experiences at all. An agnostic himself, O’Hara has also asked us to consider how robot priests will “change human spirituality”: What matters is not whether we have invented true artificial intelligence, but whether we believe we have invented it. If we trust the machine, we might let it function as a mystic or a priest, even if it isn’t one. This raises the interesting question of what to do when someone makes a machine that is actually intended to play the role of…

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Robot Priests: And You Thought “Robotic Religion” Was Just a Pointed Criticism…?

You know, rote prayers, mindless gestures… Is that the way of the future for some?
How well robot priests adapt to a religious culture may depend in part on what the culture believes about the purpose of prayer. If what matters is chiefly the number of prayers iterated, the robot priest is an adaptation of the prayer wheel. Read More ›