“And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.”
Ever since I was a small boy, I have been fascinated by science fiction stories in which humanoid robots appeared. In some of these, the robots were benign, while in others, they were monsters. I can clearly recall, watching The Invasion, a 1969 adventure in the long-running sci-fi TV series Doctor Who. In this story – which I mostly watched from behind the couch – robots, called cybermen, invaded London. Yet other robots had smiley faces. As I grew older, I began to read novels by atheist author Isaac Asimov, whose benevolent robots obeyed his famous Three Laws of Robotics. His First Law states: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
So is the Artificial Intelligence which makes robots possible a good or a bad thing? Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook, thinks it is good. He described those who disagree with its benefits as “doomsayers”. But Elon Musk, whose companies Tesla and SpaceX both make use of AI, warns that AI could be “the biggest risk we face as a civilization”.
It is, perhaps, no accident that the first mentions of technology and culture appear in Genesis 4, as abilities of the sons of the godless Lamech. Many Christian ministries, including this one, make use of internet technologies to promote the Gospel; yet, we know that humans, being sinful, attempt to use technologies in their vain search to get themselves immortality without first coming to God.
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