USA - Fear of Artificial Intelligence

Arno Froese

More Americans said they are “more concerned than excited” by the increase of artificial intelligence, a developing technology hastened by the pandemic, being applied to daily life, according to a Pew Research Center survey about the rise of AI.

The researchers polled 10,260 US adults from November 1 through November 7. Participants were asked about six developments: facial recognition technology, social media algorithms, robotic exoskeletons, computer chip implants, driverless cars and gene editing.

The findings revealed a positive outlook for facial recognition, algorithms and exoskeletons. By contrast, the respondents were significantly more worried about the use of computer chip implants in the brain, the future of autonomous passenger vehicles and gene editing. 

About 45% of respondents said they were equally concerned and excited about the rise of AI, citing reasons for concern as potential job loss, privacy implications and decrease of human connection. However, those who welcomed the new technology said it will save time, especially at work., 19 March 2022

Arno's Commentary

Fear of the unknown is natural. Particularly the older generation does not know what to do with media algorithms, robotic exoskeletons, chip implants, driverless cars, etc. 

If we were to compare the technology of a car manufactured before the 1950s with one made today, it would be helpful to understand some of those developments.

Also, many of us can recall when rubber tires were installed on farm tractors. The very first ones in town were laughed at; nothing beats steel wheels, it was said. But similar statements were made when the first tractor appeared; horses, mules, and oxen were the reliable source of power in front of farm machinery.

That’s all history; today, it’s artificial intelligence (AI). What is it? In simple terms, using computer-controlled algorithms to make decisions, to perform tasks commonly associated with humans. Does it work? The answer is yes, but we must add, limited to the input by human intelligence.

A book published in 1999 by Neil Gershenfeld, titled When Things Start to Think, says on the inside cover, “We live in a world of increasingly instructive informational technology requiring that people meet the need of machines rather than the other way around.” Amazing information and theories are discussed, which in most cases is only understood (to a degree) by people occupying themselves with computer science. 

A sentence on page 133 was quite prophetic: “The architecture of a computer becomes a kind of digital deity that brings order to the rest of the world for him.” Quite striking and alarming indeed for Bible readers. Here we are reminded of Revelation 13, where mankind is instructed by the false prophet to manufacture “an image of the beast.” Then verse 15 continues, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Not man’s intelligence, but the AI intelligence of the image becomes the decisive factor in determining whether a person truly worships or not.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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