Theologian Says AI Does Not Have Human Reason, Despite Fears

Don't worry: there's no ghost in the machine.

Pixabay license.

A noted Spanish theologian posited that despite fears of dangers posed by artificial intelligence (AI), a truly artificial intelligence is imposible.

Father José Antonio Fortea, who received a theology doctorate from the Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum at Roma,said in a recent YouTube video that “based on our faith in God…for believers it is impossible for science to create true rationality.”

Fortea, who is also a noted exorcist, said, “I repeat, it is impossible to create a true artificial intelligence because how impressive the programs may be, those computers will give outputs according to the directions given by their programming.” He was trained by famed exorcist Fr. Gabriele Amorth.

Fortea said, “A computer may startle us with the data it provides, but nothing will come out that had not been put in it.” Fortea’s comments came after weeks of public debate about AI and its application. “Someone using a calculator may be surprised by the results, but a calculator does not do anything more than what it was programmed to do,” he said, even “startlingly complex operations.”

Fortea said that a machine may even “learn” to some degree, but this ability cannot be compared to a rational human being. In the case of machines and related devices, he continued, "everything they learn will flow through the channels programmed from the beginning."

Designed by human intelligence, he said, "It's like a ball that falls and has different paths and the gates close, others open and the ball falls where a program says."  AI is a combination of certain algorithms to create machines, devices, and programs which resemble human reasoning. In recent months, interest has grown in AI-enhanced tools such as ChatGPT, which can create texts on command, as well as MidJourney, that creates images now found all over the Internet.

 According to Dr. Eugene Gan of Franciscan University at Steubenville, AI cannot possibly have a soul. Gan has studied the phenomenon for 30 years. Geoffrey Hinton, who recently retired from Google and is considered the "godfather" of AI, has warned that that “dangerous” AI technology should not continue unbridled.

Martin Barillas is a writer and retired diplomat. He is the author of 'Shaken Earth', available on Amazon.

Topic tags:
Christianity Catholic Computers AI