Why artificial intelligence is the future of religion – Salon.com


In an interview with RD earlier this year, Mary-Jane Rubenstein discussed how advances in physics are blurring the line between science and theology as physicists come to terms with cosmological concepts that were once the domain of theological speculation, like multiple universes. Something similar can be said of digital technology today: that, having left behind their religious roots, computers are raising issues that circle back into religious territory.

At the extreme end of this phenomenon, we have the concept of artificial intelligence, which strikes immediately at questions about the extent of human power, and whether intelligence is distinct from a soul. Meanwhile, some transhumanists foresee a period when the human mind will be uploaded onto a deathless computer. As religion scholar Robert Geraci has argued, this vision of people shedding their imperfect bodies and achieving immortality sounds an awful lot like the Rapture.