Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

This short, well-presented and very readable 2019 report is from a consultation process with a number of experts in science, theology and ethics by the Jubilee Centre, Cambridge. It focuses on the current uses and capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI), a look at future predictions, and laying out some ideas about how we can use AI in order to help people flourish.

The brief chapters cover the myths around AI, what it can actually do, and some Biblical analysis looking at key themes – the image of God and eschatology – which can help us think about what are good uses of this new technology. It looks in detail at a number of areas where AI can influence relationships: investment, employment, regulation, and products and services. Finally, it sets out some guidelines that could be used by Christian leaders to help them make decisions about the uses of AI in a productive way.

I appreciated the nuanced approach to technology in this report – there is no emotive doomsaying or rejection of technology simply because it can be used for harmful ends. The expert panel are indeed very expert across a range of fields, though lacking somewhat in other kinds of diversity which may be reflected in some of the perspectives presented. Having said that, this is an excellent place to start in an exploration of AI from a Christian perspective. It is a helpful summary of thinking to date and includes some interesting positive suggestions for a way forward.

You can download the report here.