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A philosopher wonders if we will end up outsourcing religion and spirituality to AI

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Some religions already use robot priests. It has also occurred to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook could stand in for churches:

”Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has suggested that Facebook can act like a type of church for its users.

Zuckerberg claimed that as church attendance declines, the social network site he established can offer that same sense of community that worshippers normally get from church.

This is part of Facebook’s new mission statement, which is to ‘Bring the world closer together.’ Consequently, Zuckerberg hopes Facebook can be an enabler of community and even encourage people to be more active in volunteering and in charitable work. – Michael Bird, “Why Mark Zuckerberg Will Never Be My Pastor” At Christianity Today (June 30, 2017)”

Will the trend really catch on? It’s true that the robot Pepper chants at Buddhist funerals in Japan but then some people in Japan also hold funerals for robotic dogs.

What might work in Japan fell flat among Western theists, probably because a great deal depends on what we understand religion to be. For example, most Western theists assume that, to the extent that God is a Person, only a human person can mediate the relationship.

News, “Will we outsource religion and spirituality to AI?” at Mind Matters News

See also: And now… can AI have mystical experiences? A philosopher wonders whether technology could be part of some bigger plan to enable us to perceive other dimensions. Philosopher David O’Hara argues that machines might have mystical experiences and help us understand the underlying reality. But he fears we won’t accept them.

Are robot pastors the answer to religion’s decline? Many Christians say no. Some Buddhists say yes. What is expected of the pastor?

A.I. Jesus sputters from the King James Bible. The developer emphasizes that the program is a purely human creation. Possibly tongue-in-cheek, Durendal thinks his creation is the right sort of religion for humans and robots over the next few millennia.

Such a point of view (Mark Zuckerberg and David O’Hara) simply reveals the bankruptcy of their own experiences. Rather than a vibrant, personally committed community, one has shallow surrogate relationships mediated by a self-interested corporation. Rather than being touched by the Holy Spirit and filled with joy and understanding, one has only a synthetic vicarious experience that leaves one hollow and lonely, like having a conversation with a chatbot. One is reminded of the results of the Harlow experiments with surrogate simian maternal contact on infant monkeys. It did not turn out well. https://www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/observer/obsonline/harlows-classic-studies-revealed-the-importance-of-maternal-contact.html -Q Querius
Typical materialist view of what "church" is: just a social club. Yes, social media can (barely) substitute for a social club. But not for the real Church. EDTA
Machine learning systems are focused on specific processes from which they are unable to deviate. If the machines were “intelligent”, they would be able, as humans are, to take the lessons learned in one area and apply them in another context.
So according to the materialist cult, humans' "sense of self" and "choices" are "illusions", but somehow a chunk of hardware can have what we don't (being us who program those machines). Some cults need to die. (And they will). :) Truthfreedom
Re: Outsourcing We should outsource philosophy to AI. KF kairosfocus
Not quite the same thing. The "philosopher" is emitting incomprehensible schizy wordsalad, which is the job of "philosophers". Zuck isn't talking about AI as such. He's merely saying that FB serves as a medium for churches, which is hardly innovative. Churches have been using radio and TV intensively for 100 years, and churches have easily extended this to social media. polistra
Oh, sorta like Douglas Adams' electric monk? https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/8801190-electric-monks-believed-things-for-you-thus-saving-you-what -Q Querius

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