Film Friday Reflection: A.I. Artificial Intelligence

When Monica and Henry ‘adopt’ the human robot David, they are given the option to programme, or imprint, him to love them. After a while Monica does just that, and from then on David is set on homing in on her and receiving her love. You get a sense of insecurity as he longs to be sure that she loves him as he loves her. One of the great themes of the Bible is that we have a creator, we are no accident, we are made in his image, with the capacity to begin to know our Maker and start to love him. However, unlike this story, we have freewill. It’s one of the great gifts of life. We can choose how we live. We are not imprinted or programmed to love God, instead we have the choice to do this. Add into that the nature of the world we live in, broken, stressed and full of distractions… and life gets complex. For those who want to love God it’s not easy. We love other things and let them dominate our thinking. We frequently forget the one who can help us in this fractured world. Like Monica with David, we are talking about a relationship, and one in which we feel frequently insecure. God will not always do what we want, and at times life feels like wading through wet cement. The Bible is full of folk like us. And they do not hide their troubles and inadequacies. The book of Psalms is full of writing often referred to as songs of praise, but many of them are songs of lament, and cries for a better way of life. The writers pour out their longings and inadequacies. In Psalm 69 the writer tells us he is exhausted, worn out. He feels as if he is drowning, and he is worried that his foolish ways will cause others to come a cropper. This is honest stuff. Real faith, real life. We are not robots, we don’t have it all worked out, and the great thing is that we can be honest with God about it.

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  1. Mark Roques says:

    Good stuff Dave. I appreciate your comments on this film. I would just add something about people who put their faith in AI. For example Marvin Minsky (1927-2016) was a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the USA. He is famous for his catchy phrase that the human mind is nothing but “a three-pound computer made of meat.” Minsky was an atheist and worked in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). He was convinced that ‘free will’ is an illusion and he asserted that “people should give their money to AI research rather than their churches, as only AI would truly give them eternal life.” Minsky believed passionately that science and technology can solve all our problems including the death of death. This faith is sometimes called scientism. It is, in my humble view, a profoundly misleading faith.

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