As we once again look closely at ongoing developments in the world of artificial intelligence, it is worth noting that the use cases and applications are changing at an unprecedented pace from the time the world first was introduced to ChatGPT’s generative AI in 2022.

Since then, many prayers have reportedly been composed with the application. Including this one: “Help us to recognize that the pursuit of knowledge is a sacred endeavor, leading us closer to Your and to a deeper understanding of the universe You have fashioned.”

That snippet is from a much longer opening prayer that was read during the Ecumenical Roundtable Worship Service in late April. Presbyterian Church USA representatives and members of the steering committee for the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology held frank and wide-ranging discussions on shared concerns regarding AI and the awe-filled wonder we share for the seismic change we are witnessing fueled by the availability of information and our shared human endeavor of data collection to better understand the reality around us.

As outlined in this month’s feature, we looked at how the technology’s use impacts people of faith and how it places congregations on the frontlines of learning as a community how to use it responsibly. As is often the case, we came up with many more questions and an eagerness to welcome practitioners in the space to the dialogue before our worst sci-fi imagery becomes reality.

But AI isn’t the only arena where dialogue is happening as we see in this month’s news section. The summer sessions are returning to Los Alamos with scientists and theologians discussing a wide range of material ranging from the historical to futuristic.

Meanwhile, Lutheran Alliance members are preparing for the ELCA Youth Gathering next month under the rich theme “Created to Be.” The team will once again have a booth — filled with activities and learning opportunities as well as resources for youth leaders looking to stoke that curiosity of the world around us.

Our ChatGPT prayer closed in this way: “May our exploration of science and faith be a testament to Your infinite wisdom and boundless love.” And all God’s people said — Amen!

Susan Barreto, Editor
Covalence
@luthcovalence
relandsci@gmail.com

Susan Barreto
Susan Barreto

Susan is an author with a long-time interest in religion and science. She currently edits Covalence, the Lutheran Alliance for Faith, Science and Technology’s online magazine. She has written articles in The Lutheran and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science newsletter. Susan is a board member for the Center for Advanced Study of Religion and Science, the supporting organization for the Zygon Center and the Zygon Journal. She also co-wrote Our Bodies Are Selves with Dr. Philip Hefner and Dr. Ann Pederson.

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