A.I. is coming to the church – if the news out of Germany is anything to go by.
Over 300 people attended an experimental ChatGPT-powered church service at St. Paul’s church in the Bavarian town of Fürth, Germany, reports the Associated Press.
The 40-minute sermon included text generated by OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot and delivered by avatars on a television screen above the altar.
The artificial intelligence chatbot asked the believers to rise from the pews and praise the Lord. The ChatGPT chatbot, personified by an avatar of a bearded Black man on a huge screen above the altar, then began preaching to those that had shown up for an experimental Lutheran church service almost entirely generated by A.I.
The chatbot, initially personified as a bearded man with a fixed expression and monotone voice, addressed the audience by proclaiming, “Dear friends, it is an honor for me to stand here and preach to you as the first artificial intelligence at this year’s convention of Protestants in Germany.”
The unusual service took place as part of a convention called Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag (German Evangelical Church Congress), an event held biennially in Germany that draws tens of thousands of attendees.
The service, which included prayers and music, was the brainchild of Jonas Simmerlein, a theologian and philosopher from the University of Vienna. Simmerlein told the Associated Press that the service was “about 98 percent from the machine.”
The sermon, which was led by computer-generated avatars of two men and two women, focused on topics of leaving the past behind, overcoming fear of death, and never losing faith.
As Australian prophet, Roma Waterman, commented on Instagram, “Pure prophetic voices are a gift that A.I. can never replicate because it requires constant communion with God to move and speak when He moves and speaks.
“So A.I. may be on the rise, both for good use and questionable use, but as a prophetic people we can be one step in front by staying connected to the voice of the Father.
“The Lord spoke to me around a year ago and told me to keep my eye on this so I’ve been reading a lot of articles about the latest technologies coming. It’s made me hungry to hear His voice with more clarity than ever.
“Through every advancement of the ages, God has always been one step ahead which means we can be too. Nothing has ever taken him by surprise which is why we can live in great hope of His light burning bright always! Pursue his voice and his heart in the midst of such rapid technology advancements. Don’t be afraid. May what is to come make us desire to be near Him even more! That’s where the joy is, that’s where the peace is, and that’s where the strategy is.”
She went on to quote Acts 2:17: “And it shall be in the last days, ‘God says, That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.’”
Who knows where A.I. is heading long term, but we can be sure that pastors are not about to become a thing of the past. Preaching a message may be one thing, but actually loving the people is another altogether that A.I. will never be able to accomplish.