Graduation day at Oak Hill
Dan Strange gives his Acting Principal's Report on Oak Hill's graduation day.
Our graduation day is always one of the most important events in our college calender, and certainly our most public. Saturday was no different as a full lecture theatre witnessed last year's student cohort receiving their hard-earned awards. Our graduation ceremony is always a little different from graduation ceremonies you may have attended before. There is fair amount of formality, local dignitaries are in attendance, and there are some fabulous gowns on show. But the singing is loud and heartfelt, and the gospel is always proclaimed in bold and challenging ways.
It's probably breaking etiquette, but this year there were handshakes, hugs and kisses as the graduands received their awards. Given the year we've had as a college, it was an especially poignant time, and I thought it appropriate to share what I said in my Acting Principal's Report.
Idolatry and the AI singularity
Eric Ortlund, who lectures in Old Testament at Oak Hill, writes about an organisation devoted to developing god-like artificial intelligence.
A recent piece in the Guardian (by Olivia Solon, 'Deus ex machina: former Google engineer is developing an AI god) comments on a religious organization newly founded by Anthony Levandowski called 'Way of the Future.' Its mission is 'to develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.' Certainly not a goal lacking in ambition!.
A quick Google search shows there's more being written about Levandowksi than by him, and others have not been slow either to express support for or fear about the prospect of what is termed the AI singularity—the hypothetical point at which artificial intelligence (AI) will supposedly surpass human intelligence and become self-sustaining. The discussion frequently becomes theological in nature. For instance, Zoltan Istvan speaks supportively of AI because he prefers a computerized god to what he claims are the irrational and cruel aspects of the God of the Bible. Zoltan says that if an AI deity were invented, it would be a god which would 'actually exist and hopefully... do things for us.'