AI: Ally or Adversary?

AI: Ally or Adversary?

In the last couple of years, advances in artificial intelligence have made another great jump forward. Particularly as ChatGPT and visualizers like Craiyon and Midjourney have personified AI and have allowed anyone in the world to play with it, there has been a fresh wave of excitement, but also fear. AI has immense potential to help humans overcome the most tedious and painful aspects in life, but we are alternately enchanted, creeped out and worried about the newest models’ grasp of that elusively human thing, creativity. As AI generates uncannily human-like artwork, video, poetry and even sermons, even while appropriating human-generated content, we wonder: will humans be replaced by their own creation?

Beyond the story of the Golem, Judaism has a surprising amount to say about how we might regard AI, and how we can set boundaries for it – both for AI itself as well as for the more craven impulses of the humans who may use it.

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(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. Josh Gruenstein is the co-founder and CEO of Tutor Intelligence, which develops artificial intelligence for factory robots. Prior to that, he was a graduate researcher and lecturer at MIT, where he received his Bachelor’s degree in science and a Master’s in Engineering and Artificial Intelligence. Dan Geffen is Rabbi at Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, NY. AI: Ally or Adversary? Understanding the History, Present, and Future of Artificial Intelligence was an event held there on the evening of August 3rd).

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