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The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity Hardcover – March 3, 2020
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Are robots going to take my job? How are smartphones affecting my kids? Do I need to worry about privacy when I get online or ask Siri for directions? Whatever questions you have about AI, The Age of AI gives you insights on how to navigate this brand-new world as you apply God's ageless truths to your life and future.
Alexa, how is AI changing our world? We interact with artificial intelligence, or AI, nearly every moment of the day without knowing it. From our Twitter and Facebook social media feeds to our online carts to smart thermostats and Alexa and Google Home, AI is everywhere. In The Age of AI, Jason Thacker--associate research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission--helps us navigate our digital age in this thoughtful exploration of the social, moral, and ethical challenges of our ongoing interactions with artificial intelligence.
Applying God's Word to this new AI-empowered age, The Age of AI shows us how Christian truth transforms how we use AI in order to love God and our neighbor better. It serves as a guide for those wary of technology's impact on our society and also for those who are enthusiastic about where AI is taking us. Jason explains how AI affects us individually, in our relationships, and in our society at large as he addresses AI's impact on our bodies, sexuality, work, economics, and privacy. With theological depth and a wide awareness of the current trends in AI, Jason is a steady guide reminding us that while AI is changing most things, it does not change the foundations of the Christian faith.
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What Others Are Saying
president, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
"No ethical issue keeps me up at night as does the question of artificial intelligence. The reason for my dismay is that the church doesn’t seem to be thinking very deeply about these matters at all, even as we move into a technological revolution that could prove to be Gutenberg-level in its implications. This book is a balm for anxiety in the age of technological disruption. No evangelical has thought and written more clearly on these matters than Jason Thacker. In this monumental work, he avoids both naivete and paranoia about AI. The years ahead will require wise Christians in a time of smart robots. This book shows the way."
former governor of Florida
"Harnessing technology in our world, especially in education and medicine, can help us live productive and fulfilling lives. Yet Thacker reminds us that we must learn to do so in ways that glorify God and protect the innocent among us. Great read for parents!"
(photo by Gage Skidmore licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
author, Sacred Endurance, If God Is for Us, and Fear and Faith
"There are some things you don’t know you need until it’s too late. What Jason Thacker has done in this work is prepare us for a future where we will need to think clearly and biblically about artificial intelligence. The Age of AI is a book for our time as the use of AI is rapidly advancing. It is deeply researched but accessible to the average reader, theologically rich, and filled with wise counsel. I’m grateful for this book."
CEO VMware; founder, Transforming the Bay with Christ; author, The Juggling Act
"Technology rightly applied can be powerful for humanity and the church. AI is challenging us to consider carefully how it can be shaped for God’s kingdom and to understand its risks. Jason puts all of this into historical and scriptural context for each of us to deepen our insights into this critical topic."
(photo by Science History Institute licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
About the Author
- Publisher : Zondervan (March 3, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0310357640
- ISBN-13 : 978-0310357643
- Item Weight : 10.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.75 x 0.74 x 8.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #410,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Perhaps the future will be a little of both. As Jason Thacker demonstrates in The Age of AI, humanity is the image of God, and “God gave us specific jobs and responsibilities to perform as we seek to reflect him in this world.” Technology — even complicated technology like AI — is simply “a tool that helps us live out our God-given callings.” The problem is that humanity “brought sin into the world and broke the natural order of things.” Our technology reflects our mixed character as the image of God marred. It helps, and it harms.
Thus, AI holds both promise and peril. In the medical field, AI promises to make more accurate diagnoses and perform more intricate surgeries. But will it also deny medical care to those with low odds of survival? AI promises to make factory work less arduous, but will robots take jobs from humans? Social media helps people connect across distances and barriers, even as AI runs complex algorithms in the background and sweeps up personal data. Is that information safe from hackers, criminals and authoritarian governments?
Underlying these ethical dilemmas is a theological paradox. Some AI advocates — called transhumanists — believe humans are simply complex machines. When machines become sufficiently complex, they too will become almost human, like Robin Williams’ robot character in Bicentennial Man. The hope is such machines will avoid human failings. Thacker identifies the paradox: “We dumb down what it means to be human and treat each other as simple machines, but at the same time put our hope and faith in these machines to solve the problems and ills that we deal with each day.” In the process, we idolize our creations but demean God’s — people made in His image.
“AI is changing everything about our world and society,” writes Thacker. “And we aren’t prepared. Reading The Age of AI is a good starting place.
I gave it two stars because he was not critical enough of technologies impact on our pysche and our communities. For example: Robert Putnam in his landmark book Bowling Alone demonstrates that TV and technology since the 50s has significantly reduced civic engagement (church participation).
I was very disappointed with the way he engaged the view of secular humanists. He did not represent their perspective accurately to the point where they would agree they were accurately being characterized. I think current and future technology poses a real societal and existential threat, and if we are to engage as christians with opposing views we must expose their views through accurately articulating their perspective.
My bias. I am an anabaptist christian. Meaning I have a Yoder/Scot Mcknight view of church and culture as oppose to the popular kuyperian view. the Kuyperian view generally has a more favorable view of the world and culture. I am sure a Evangelical christian would appreciate this book much more than me. He is writing to Evangelicals.
I am a pastor and am greatly concerned and interested in this topic on how it affects the church. I think this is one of the most important topics for the church to wrestle with for the coming decades as we wait for His return.
My suggestion would be for people to read
Yuval Noah Harrai - Homo Dues
Jean Twenge - Igen
Andy Crouch - Tech Wise family
and Jacque Ellul or commentary on his view of technology. He was a prophet for this topic.
Top reviews from other countries
In this book you'll hear of some of the progresses that have been made with AI, it goes much wider than one might initially think. AI is involved in banking, medicine, warfare, work and even in our homes. So it's pretty important!
This book explores the benefits, limitations and dangers of AI. The fundamental conviction is that people are made in the image of God and the whole book stems from this. Thacker engages with those who think that one day AI will surpass its human creators and deals graciously with the lack of understanding about the beginnings of humanity. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to you :)