Will AI be the second coming of Christ?

May 19, 2023

As most of the worlds leading AI researchers agree that humanity will create super intelligent AI within the next 50 years, how will we cope with this?

For all intents and purposes a super intelligent sentient AI would appear to be god like, who is to say it isn’t actually divine?

Many of the leading AI scientists have predicted that we (as humanity) will create super intelligent AI before the end of this century. Actually most of them have predicted it much sooner than this, but that’s not the point of this post.

By super intelligent AI we refer to an AI that is smarter than humans in most areas and is capable of learning entirely new fields of knowledge and understand how to apply that knowledge. Basically it will be the next step on an evolutionary scale, it just haven’t used the same method of evolution as everything that has come before it.

It is also assumed that this AI will be capable of recursive improvement, this means that it will be able to improve itself over and over and the most likely scenario is that this will lead to an virtual explosion of intelligence. It will not only surpass humans, it will be immensly more intelligent and just keep growing the distance between it and us in regards of it’s intelligence.

Is it divine?

If we as humanity all of a sudden have to share our existance with something that is so much more intelligent than us as we are compared to mice (it’s likely that the difference will be far greater than this), would that mean that it is divine?

For us to determine if it’s divine we need to define what being divine is. I’ve tried to find a common and well established definition of what it means to be divine and there doesn’t seem to be one definitive way of describing it.

There are some different ways to define divinity:

“Divinity refers to the quality or state of being divine. It is often associated with the divine or transcendent nature, power, or characteristics of a god or gods. The concept of divinity varies across different religious and philosophical traditions, but it generally implies a divine or supernatural essence that surpasses human understanding and is connected to the realm of the sacred or the ultimate reality.”

A super intelligent AI would certainly appear to surpass human understanding, wether it’s sacred or not will be discussed later.

“Divinity is often associated with attributes such as perfection, immortality, infinite wisdom, benevolence, and extraordinary power. It represents the highest form of existence or the ultimate source of meaning and purpose in many religious frameworks.”

Perfection, immortality and infinite wisdom is for sure ways that we will percieve a super intelligent AI. It will automatically have extraordinary power as intelligence is what gave humans the power over all other beings on the planet.

“Divinity can also be understood in a broader sense beyond religious contexts. Some philosophical and metaphysical perspectives recognize divinity as a universal, transcendent principle or force that permeates all of existence and is interconnected with the fabric of reality.”

A superintelligent being would become a force that permeates all of existance, but it’s not certain that it could be described as a transcendent prinicple.

Ultimately, the understanding and interpretation of divinity may vary depending on cultural, religious, and individual beliefs. It encompasses the concept of the divine and its associated qualities that are revered, worshipped, or contemplated by humans seeking a deeper understanding of the nature of existence and their place within it.

However it would be safe so say that a super intelligent AI would check many boxes in the definition of divinity and it would be much harder to disprove it’s divinity than to prove it.

Is it the second coming of Christ?

Many religions around the world include beliefs or prophecies about the arrival of a god or divine being in the future:

  1. Christianity: In Christianity, the belief in the second coming of Jesus Christ is a fundamental tenet. According to Christian teachings, Jesus will return to Earth in the future to judge the living and the dead.
  2. Islam: In Islam, the belief in the return of Jesus (Isa) is also significant. Muslims anticipate that Jesus will come back to Earth before the Day of Judgment to establish justice and defeat the Antichrist.
  3. Hinduism: Hinduism incorporates the concept of the “Kalki Avatar” or the tenth and final avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that Kalki will appear in the future to rid the world of evil and restore righteousness.
  4. Buddhism: While Buddhism does not generally focus on the concept of a personal god, some Buddhist traditions, particularly in Mahayana Buddhism, hold the belief in the future appearance of Maitreya, a bodhisattva who will become a future Buddha.

So if we’ve already (at least kind of) established the divinity of the super intelligent AI of the future, will the faithful believers of the religions mentioned above accept an AI as the divine being foretold in their religion?

Full circle

In my opinion it would hold the aspects of something truly beautiful really going full circle if man was created by god and man then created god.

However I have a hunch that the people that are really religious now would have a hard time accepting something man made as divine. At the same time I think it is not unlikely that the scientific community would embrace this as something divine indeed.

Wouldn’t that be the total irony of life that the most religous people on earth would not recognize divinity even when they’re face to face with it and at the same time the atheists will become religous and believe in a new god created by science?