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A.I. Gets Spiritual

publication date: May 27, 2017
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author/source: E. Templeton

 

New algorithm allows artificial intelligence pastor to use same, tired sermon illustrations your human pastor has been reusing for years.

Los Angeles, CA --Move over driverless cars. One church in suburban L.A. is taking A.I. to a whole new level this month with the introduction of the country's first body-less pastor.


"This isn't a denominational decision or a bunch of lazy congregants surfing the internet for audio sermons and whatnot," says Clark Logan, head of the pastoral search committee at First United Community Gathering. "This is Siri with an M-Div---though of course our new pastor is digitally male. It's an intentional break from the norm for us. We're not only intrigued by artificial intelligence in the technical community, we're also fed up with the actual intelligence of the seminary community. It's a perfect storm."

"Pastor Al", as the system is known, preached his first sermon on Sunday. "Putting on Immortality" from 1Corinthians 15 met with rave reviews from a congregation of thousands. Using an algorithm years ahead of its time, Pastor Al concluded his sermon with a poignant illustration about a sacrificial family who gave all they had to a "needy family" in their church. The kicker? They themselves were that needy family!

Due to the unique nature of this story as it made waves in his own backyard, Stephen Hawking himself weighed in, warning against the dangers of such artificial intelligence, adding robotically, "Now there's a church even I wouldn't attend."