Norm MacDonald once quipped that the one country he was afraid of was Germany. The Germans would do what no nation has done yet: use ChatGPT to conduct an entire worship service. Indeed, while many articles are being written by Christian outlets about the use of Artificial Intelligence, like Open AI’s ChatGPT, a Lutheran Church in Germany took it to the next level. According to Breitbart:
The ChatGPT chatbot, personified by an avatar of a bearded Black man on a huge screen above the altar, then began preaching to the more than 300 people who had shown up on Friday morning for an experimental Lutheran church service almost entirely generated by AI.
“Dear friends, it is an honor for me to stand here and preach to you as the first artificial intelligence at this year’s convention of Protestants in Germany,” the avatar said with an expressionless face and monotonous voice.
The 40-minute service – including the sermon, prayers and music – was created by ChatGPT and Jonas Simmerlein, a theologian and philosopher from the University of Vienna.
The reviews on how it went were mixed, but the common thread seems to be that the AI exceeded expectations.
However, the experimental church service also showed the limits to implementing artificial AI in church, or in religion. There was no real interaction between the believers and the chatbot, which wasn’t able to respond to the laughter or any other reactions by the churchgoers as a human pastor would have been able to do.
Church services have been tried in the failed Metaverse but not using AI. This is an innovation that possibly spells the end for companies like Docent Research Group, among others. In any case, it’s not surprising that a liberal church would be the one to attempt this experiment of having robot led preaching rather than spirit filled preaching.
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