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The difference between artificial and divine intelligence

Tempting as it was to dismiss as so much hooey the recent news that an ex-Google executive had filed an application with the IRS to form an official “religion of technology” dedicated to the worship of artificial intelligence, I had to stop myself. Imagine what people might think of me, I thought, choosing to worship a divine intelligence that can only be discerned by spiritual sense.

Talk about throwing stones in glass houses.

Nevertheless, there does seem to be a fundamental difference between “promot[ing] the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence,” as stated in the Google exec’s IRS application, and committing one’s self to a deeper understanding of what so many over so many millennia have rightly intuited to be the divine source of understanding. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not,” we read in the Bible (James 1:5), “and it shall be given him.”

I can recall any number of times when I’ve yearned for such wisdom to see me through a particular challenge – times when a simple yet heartfelt plea to God, divine Mind, to “show me the way” has led to the resolution of whatever problem I was facing. Mental and emotional challenges, for sure. But also physical ones. “Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, – neither in nor of matter, – and the body will then utter no complaints,” writes Christian reformer Mary Baker Eddy. “If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well.”

While for some this may sound like little more than positive thinking, I see it instead as a form of repentance (to use the Bible word for “changing one’s mind”) born of a willingness to see myself as a wholly spiritual expression of a wholly spiritual God.

No doubt our understanding of new technologies like artificial intelligence will continue to evolve. But so, too, will our ability to better understand and apply the spiritual intelligence that results not only in improved mental and physical circumstances, but in divinely inspired, divinely empowered, lives as well.

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