Christians Express Concerns Over AI, Survey Finds

Practicing Christians and those deeply engaged with Scripture display a significant skepticism towards artificial intelligence, more so than the general American populace.

This sentiment was highlighted in the American Bible Society’s latest release, “State of the Bible USA 2024.”

The second chapter of this report, “Faith and Technology,” delves into believers’ perceptions of AI and its implications on their spiritual lives.

The survey gathered insights from 2,506 adults from January 4 to 23, 2024, and boasts a margin of error of +/—2.73 percentage points.

John Farquhar Plake, Chief Program Officer at the American Bible Society, encapsulated the findings: Americans harbor more fear than hope regarding the rise of AI.

He noted a pervasive uncertainty about how AI might reshape cultural landscapes, with a general unease permeating the atmosphere.

Believers are particularly wary, fearing that AI’s negatives may ultimately surpass its benefits, intensifying the dilemma of faith and technology.

A striking 58% of Americans dismissed the notion that AI could assist in moral reasoning.

Similarly, 68% doubted AI’s potential to enhance spiritual practices or contribute to ‘spiritual health.’

Moreover, 57% of respondents believed AI could craft sermons as effectively as human clergy.

Yet, a slight majority, 51%, believe AI will lead to increased unemployment.

Opinions split on AI’s alignment with biblical teachings, with 40% affirming and another 40% unsure.

Optimism about AI’s future benefits divides the crowd, with 37% uncertain and an equal percentage explicitly doubtful.

The survey also examined differing views among scripture-engaged individuals versus the broader public.

These scripture-engaged respondents, characterized by frequent and impactful engagement with the Bible, exhibit heightened concerns about AI.

Their skepticism is quantifiable, with scores reflecting deeper reservations about AI’s role in spirituality and ethics compared to the general public.

For example, scripture-engaged individuals gave lower agreement scores to positive statements about AI and higher scores to negative assertions.

The report reveals that practicing Christians, as well as non-practicing Christians and non-Christians, vary significantly in their perceptions of AI’s potential and risks.

Each group’s stance on AI’s capacity to support or detract from spiritual and moral integrity sheds light on the broader societal apprehensions surrounding emerging technologies.

The detailed findings underscore a complex landscape of belief, technology, and the future of faith communities’ interaction with advancements like AI.

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