The Robot will see you now

This book is probably the best place to start for an introduction to Christian theological engagment with Artificial Intelligence and related emerging technologies.

It’s not a book so much as a collection of essays on a breadth of topics, brought together by editors John Wyatt and Stephen N. Williams. Though each essay is individual and deliberately not forced into following an arc, the book does divide naturally into three parts; historical and cultural background and analysis, theological frameworks, and ethical and social issues.

Despite individual authors and light touch editing some consistent themes emerge across the chapters and they focus on the unique nature of being human:

  • What does it mean to be human?
  • In what sense do we bear God’s image?
  • How does the rise in AI mimic or challenge our humanity?
  • How should humans and ‘robots’ interact?

Of course, a huge number of other areas are discussed, but so often they return to the question of humanity. Healthcare, sextech, creativity, work, surveilance – these practical topics build naturally on the theological frameworks which argue for human uniqueness and thoughtful engagement with technology.

This book will be one to return to again and again, not to read cover to cover, but to come back to particular chapters, either for building theological frameworks or hearing again considered responses to challenging ethical issues.

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