The Ethics of Superintelligent Design: A Christian View of the Theological and Moral Implications of Artificial Superintelligence

October 11, 2016

This dissertation argues that any technological enhancements to humankind’s cognitive intelligence, whether achieved through biological or artificial manipulations of human nature or resulting from human creation, are subject to the commands, prescriptions, and principles revealed through God’s unified revelation, taking into account that man is created as His image-bearer.

Chapter One introduces the statement of the problem and discusses the necessity of properly understanding man, intelligence and provides definitions and research methodology.

Chapter Two discusses human anthropology and discusses man’s relationship to the cosmos in the context of him making technology for his use. It investigates the need for proper theological understandings in order to understand the ethics of his creation of ASI.

Chapter Three investigates the understanding of intelligence and provides insight to how it is viewed from the context of natural and artificial understandings.

Chapter Four looks at the technological singularity and its implications including extending human lifetimes. It acknowledges the power of potential of ASI while discussing its separation of purpose from biology and its existential risks to humanity.

Chapter Five tackles the issue of ASI ethics. It looks at ASI’s ethical relationship to mankind as a human invention and examines from whence its motivations and values stem. The issue of functional autonomy is examined and deemed ethically unsatisfactory.

Chapter Six concludes by suggesting that all developments in AI/ASI be employed within a Christian ethical framework.

Paul A. Golata, Ph.D.
Advisor: Evan C. Lenow, Ph.D.
School of Theology
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2016

Ethically Aligned Design by IEEE