From the classroom to the workplace, artificial Intelligence has made its way into several parts of our lives.
But now, it’s in the church, as well.
The Violet Crown City Church in north Austin hosted a Sunday service entirely created by AI.
Pastor Jay Cooper said he used ChatGPT. The technology can respond to questions and create a variety of content like articles, essays and emails.
“ChatGPT kicked out about a 15 minute service, like a shotgun sermon, an outline,” Cooper said. “It’s very clear that a human element is still needed. I had to fill out the service with additional prompts, and add a couple prompts to the sermon to kind of beef it up.”
Cooper said he got the idea after reading more about AI and speaking with members of the congregation who are software developers.
“There’s so many different applications for AI,” he said. “I just had the idea what would it look like to incorporate this into a worship service?”
Church attendee Ernest Chambers said he was able to worship during the service, but ultimately, it was still missing a key ingredient for him: feelings.
“I’m not sure that AI can actually express the emotions of love and kindness and empathy,” Chambers said. “I think that we must practice love and express that. Not only feel it, but we must express it.”
What is sacred?
Cooper said the purpose of this was to wrestle with the question “what is sacred?”
“A big question that comes up to me as we let AI lead worship is can a prayer written by artificial intelligence, in some way, communicate truth? Can you experience God through that?” he asked.
Cooper said that if people can see something sacred in the AI sermon, perhaps they could find something sacred in other things as well.
“Perhaps something resonates with them and then it opens their mind to, maybe I’m not looking for the sacred enough in the rest of the world,” Cooper said.
He said while the AI-generated sermon was relevant, it lacked a key component: emotion.
“I think the human touch is critical in life and in ministry,” Cooper said. “I think the messiness of humanity should be present in worship.”
Cooper said the AI-generated service is a one time thing and there are no plans to do it again.
This article is a repost by KXAN, Austin church holds AI-generated service, uses ChatGPT
This is not the first time AI has helped a church, watch here:
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