Wait, that’s supposed to be the other way around! Siri obeys you. But what if she didn’t? What if your iPhone could turn the tables and control you?

We’re so used to the modern conveniences brought to our lives by IT (Information Technology) that we aren’t even aware of them. During a TV commercial break, we can order snacks, make a bank transaction, send an emoji to a friend, confirm a dentist appointment and turn on some background music by saying a few words to Siri. She is our multi-tasking servant.

Here’s another indication that our technological machines are getting smarter and smarter, to the point that they seem to be able to read our minds. We’re doing some concrete patching at home, so I spent a while searching on line for a cement bonding adhesive. Tired of looking at various products and revues of their effectiveness, I flipped over to my Facebook site to see if any friends had new posts, and I was surprised to see ads for cement bonding adhesive and for other masonry repair items. While I was doing my internet search, some internet advertisers had been searching for me, and, within a few minutes, they were pushing their products right on my own social media site.

I’d heard of how internet servers use algorithms to place ads, and I realized that this was how they could provide browsers for me to use at no cost, but this experience made me look at the process a little more closely. I became fascinated with how simple choices made by me through my computer clicks could add up to a very detailed and specific picture of who I am, what my values are and what I might be open to purchasing. This set of choices is described as an algorithm, an ancient Greek mathematical principle that perfectly describes a very sophisticated modern process.1

Algorithms resemble the choices we make in rational human thinking. In fact, a group of algorithms put together in such a way that they can modify each other and create new algorithms to deal with more and more factors is known as Artificial Intelligence (AI), because it operates a lot like a human’s mind does.2 The idea of AI has been around a long time. It’s behind the concept of robots, machines developed by scientists to do some of the routine “thinking” in place of humans. Assembly lines in industry involve some very basic AI, and computers themselves do a lot of our “thinking” for us. Of course, the whole genre of science fiction, in literature and films, is full of examples of machines or robots that think and act like humans, sometimes with bizarre consequences.

Just how smart can AI get? One interesting example is in the solving of puzzles and games. Chess masters used to scoff at the idea that an AI program could ever beat them, but in recent years, they’ve grudgingly admitted that even the best of them can’t defeat well-programmed AI. Currently, some of the most competitive chess matches may be between two different AI computer companies.3

Many applications of AI in scientific experimentation are being applied to environmental challenges and medical technologies. However, there is always the fear that, in the hands of evil leaders, AI could turn on its creator, outsmarting and destroying the human race. This is a frequent science fiction scenario, but real scientists have also been thinking about it. In fact a very recent report out of Oxford University has raised serious alarms.4

Maybe I’m naive, but I don’t see AI dominance as a possibility. Here’s the logical analogy that persuades me:

The creature can never outdo the Creator.
We, creatures, can never outperform God, our Creator.
And AI, our creature, can never outperform us!

I can’t prove this; I just feel it in my bones!

Here are two Scriptures that come to mind. The first is Psalm 139:1-2, 4, 6:

O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
you discern my thoughts from far away.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
O LORD, you know it completely.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.

My mind will never approach the multi-dimensional superiority of God’s mind. Similarly, I believe that my machine’s mind (AI, Siri) can never approach the multi-dimensional superiority of my mind.

The second Scripture is Genesis 1:26:

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

Part of the fact that we’re made in God’s image is that we have dominion over the “lesser creation.” AI is definitely part of this “lesser creation,” and I think if the Creation account were written today, AI would be added after the list of animals. We have dominion over all of these as God has dominion over us.

“No, Siri, get back into your little cell phone cage!”

— Pastor George Van Alstine

1 https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/introduction-to-algorithms/

2 https://www.cmswire.com/information-management/ai-vs-algorithms-whats-the-difference/

3 https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/can-chess-survive-artificial-intelligence


4 https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/superhuman-algorithms-could-kill-everyone-190100291.html