To ask whether it’s even possible, we first must understand and define what a soul actually is, argues Brandon Ambrosino. “Humans have religion.

I just have silicon.” “I eschew theological disquisition.” “I would ask that you address your spiritual questions to someone more qualified to comment. Ideally, a human.” But some futurists and tech experts predict a not-so-distant future in which AI, having achieved a certain indistinguishability from humans, will be truly intelligent.

At that point, they claim, AI will experience the world in ways not too unlike the ways that we experience it – emotionally, intelligently, and spiritually.  A consideration of AI’s religious status can be found in some of the earliest discussions of modern computing. In his 1950 paper ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’, Alan Turing considered various objections to what he called “thinking machines.” The first objection was theological: Thinking is a function of man’s immortal soul.

God has given an immortal soul to every man and woman, but not to any other animal or to machines. Hence no animal or machine can think.

But plenty of religious people think elephants, as well as every other non-human creature, lack souls, and therefore could never be religious. These people seem to take their own souls for granted. Read more from…

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