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    Reflection: Intelligent Machines

    By Chris Pitts

    cartoon-robot-freeEvery day during one week last month the BBC news had an item about robots, or intelligent machines. These amazing machines have already replaced humans in many jobs especially those jobs that are repetitive such as car manufacturing, or packaging. The military often use them in dangerous jobs such as bomb disposal. Many operations in hospitals are now performed with the help of robots such as in microscopically aided surgery or in brain surgery. For children with special needs, in particular autism when children find communication and social interaction difficult, robots can help them to bypass these problems and improve their learning experience by singing songs on request, playing word games and listening to pupils reading. It’s not only schools who are benefitting but in some care homes highly sophisticated computers covered in fur and shaped to look like a pet dog or cat will move in response to being stroked or at the sound of a person’s voice which helps to calm people down especially people struggling with dementia. Before long some medical tests such as blood tests, breath tests for certain cancers and monitoring heart beat regularity, will be able to be carried out by individuals using their smart phones. This will free up Doctors to focus on treatment rather than having to do routine tests.

    All our lives are dominated in more ways than we realise by ‘intelligent’ machines: the way we shop or drive our cars, we even have very small computers in our hearing aids. Some experts believe that by 2050 these machines will have reached human level intelligence.

    In some ways that sounds rather scary. Will we as humans become redundant? Will our lives be completely ruled by machines? Fortunately that can never be the case because God created us in his image (Genesis 1:26) and he has made us to be responsible for all he has created. He gave us intelligent, clever minds capable of working out how to improve our lives and make things easier for us all, it is amazing when we think of the enormous number of different inventions that have been created even in the last few years. Each one of us is unique, we all have different talents and abilities. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), God’s workmanship is amazing, he made us not to be just ordinary, but to be extra-ordinary, which means we can never be overtaken by a machine however intelligent it may have been programmed to be.

    View previous Reflection articles

    Life After Death
    Life’s Challenges Pt. 2
    The Shattered Glass
    Not Quite the Damascus Road
    A Home for the Lord
    The Chair

    Happiness
    The New Age of Martyrs

    A God of Second Chances
    Acceptance & Rejection
    New Lights
    New Things
    More Thoughts on Christmas
    Thoughts on Christmas

    The Vastness of Creation

    Unexpected Treasure

    Life’s Challenges
    Home is where the Heart is
    Beyond Fear to Exhiliarating Trust
    Friends
    Sticks and Stones
    Beauty in the Chaos
    God and Creation
    Perfect Timing
    The Lord is near
    Having fun and taking new steps with our friends
    A friend who stands where we stand, and weeps with us
    Remain in Me

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