Professor of Design and Innovation Lars Holmquist from Nottingham Trent University believes that people are increasingly interpreting their interactions with computers as real social relationships.
Psychological research confirms that chatbots like ChatGPT draw people into artificial social connections.
Experts warn that the phenomenon could lead people to abandon traditional religion in favor of technology-based beliefs.
““The results of generative AI are very open for interpretation, so people can read anything into them. Psychologists have historically proven that humans interpret their interactions with computers like real social relationships,” says Holmquist.
“It is very possible that artificial intelligence will become a source of higher meaning for people, like religious texts.”
Already today we see examples of this trend. Robot priests, such as the robot Mindar in Kyoto, Japan, give sermons in temples. In 2015, technologist Anthony Levandowski founded Way of the Future with the goal of creating a super AI bot for worship.
Transhumanists predict a future where artificial intelligence can resurrect humans as god-like beings.
Some believe that large language models like ChatGPT are becoming conscious or it will happen in the near future. Google software engineer Blake Lemoine, lost his job after claims that Google’s LaMDA chatbot was self-aware.
Holmquist emphasizes that so far the role of artificial intelligence has largely been limited to helping religious organizations and churches, just as commercial companies use AI to interact with customers.
“I haven’t heard of software object worship, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens in the future.” – Holmquist added.