“I’m all for technology being used in a good sense. I often say to people, AI is like a knife, a very sharp knife. You can use it to operate with, or you can use it to kill people.” — Professor John Lennox
Artificial Intelligence is the buzz phrase of the 21st century. For some, it’s a welcome step into a future that promises all manner of good. For others, AI is damaging at best and, at worst, a step towards our own destruction. This episode, with the help of the great John Lennox, we ask the question: is Artificial Intelligence an under-estimated threat… or the saviour we’ve been waiting for?
This episode is brought to you by series sponsor Zondervan Academic, publishers of Telling a better story: how to talk about God in a skeptical age by Josh Chatraw.
- Meet Professor John Lennox
- Get Professor Lennox’s book 2084: Artificial intelligence and the future of humanity
- Read more about how China is using surveillance technology to keep tabs on its citizens in this article from The Atlantic: ‘The Panopticon Is Already Here‘
- Check out George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984
- Learn more about the Singularity with this article from Futurism: ‘Singularity: Explain it to me like I’m 5 years old’
- Why Elon Musk fears artificial intelligence, Vox
- Lennox called Google’s Chief Futurist, Ray Kurzweil, “one of the great gurus in this field”. Read more about him here.
- Find out more about Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus
- Watch the Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, talk about the potential dangers of science and technology over the next 50 years
- Read more about science fiction author Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics and why they’re a little out of date
- Say hi to episode guests Dr Grenville Kent and Dr Vicky Lorrimar
- Read a recent ABC opinion piece by Dr Lorrimar, What hope? Dreams of immortality in the time of a pandemic
- More on Beowulf, the longest epic poem in Old English.
- Here’s some ancient ‘technology’ to find out more on (as mentioned in this episode’s Five Minute Jesus)
- Read the whole story of the Tower of Babel from the Book of Genesis
- More on deus ex machina (not the Australian motorcycles)
- Read the Asilomar Ethical Principles
- Watch Rosalind Picard’s TedTalk about the smartwatch she has developed that can detect seizures.
All the movies referenced in this episode:
Meet our guest
John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University (emeritus) and Emeritus Fellow in mathematics and the philosophy of science at Green Templeton College, a graduate community also at Oxford. He is also an adjunct professor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. Prof. Lennox studied at the Royal School Armagh, Northern Ireland, and went on to Cambridge University from which he took his MA, MMath, and PhD. He worked for many years in the Mathematics Institute at the University of Wales in Cardiff, which awarded him a DSc for his research. He also holds a DPhil from Oxford University (by incorporation) and an MA in bioethics from the University of Surrey. Lennox is the author of over 70 published mathematical papers and several books on the interface between science, philosophy and theology including God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?, Gunning for God, God and Stephen Hawking and Can Science Explain Everything.