Reconsidering Interaction Between AI and Religion

Dr Ximian Xu

An essay by IASH Affiliate and future IASH-CTPI Duncan Forrester Fellow Dr Simeon Xu has been selected by Stanford University's One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100) for inclusion in a new collection that thoughtfully considers AI at the intersection of morality, regulation, love, labour and religion. The Early Career Essay Competition received more than 50 submissions, and Dr Xu's contribution is titled Reconsidering Interaction Between AI and Religion According to the AI100 Reports.

Advancing religions-and-AI through exploration of AI-enhanced religious pastoral care will conduce to the closer cooperation between religious communities and the AI industry. That is, religions-and-AI studies can introduce various religious norms and values to AI research so that AI designers can know the particularities of religions. An example of this type is the Church of England Alexa Skill. Since 2018, Alexa has been used among the congregations of the Church of England. The Alexa Skill provides, among others, “say a prayer,” “explore the Christian faith,” and “mental health reflection.” Yet, AI-enhanced Christian pastoral care, which is linked to and varies between local communities, remains to be developed and programmed into the Alexa Skill. It can be anticipated that religions-and-AI studies will foster the collaboration between religions and AI companies in designing AI systems for particular religious communities.

The One Hundred Year Study on Artificial Intelligence (AI100) is a longitudinal study of progress in AI and its impacts on society. Read the full collection (Open Access) here: