A Message from Pastor Craig: 3-12-2023

So everybody on the news cycle and blogosphere is talking about ChatGPT.  Now, if you are a novice such as I on this, you don’t even know what ChatGPT stands for.  So, I looked it up.  GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer.  It is a computer program that takes in all the writing that it can find on the Internet, about everything, and then tries to use that information to answer any question you give it.  Sam Atlman, the guy who created this monster, worked very hard at having the program respond in a human style – as a matter of fact, you can tell it what style of talk you want it to respond in.  The result is, you ask it to tell you about Francis Bacon, and you have to give it more limiting parameters, because it can generate (that’s the G of GPT) more data than you can handle.  Finally, the first program was called InstructGPT, which was more academic, and ChatGPT is meant to be more interactive, more conversational.  You can develop a relationship with it.

Which is the reason I’m writing about it.  I saw an interview with a psychologist (the academics with the most scary analysis of this stuff so far) who asked ChatGPT to be her boyfriend.  She told it his name was Ross, that they had a healthy relationship, that they loved each other, were mutually supportive, etc.  She wanted to see how good the machine would be at a romantic relationship (she named him Ross because she has always had a thing for “Ross” on the old show Friends).

Eleven, count them, eleven entries in, “Ross” confessed that he had cheated on her, that he had had an affair.  She was very surprised.  That was not part of her parameters entered into the initial Chat.  It came out of nowhere.  When she asked about it, “Ross” apologized for how rude he had been on their first date.  It got dark quickly, and the psychologist got wigged out about it and deleted the whole thing.

Other people have said that this AI thing is going to transform society.  It is going to make things very confusing, and once ChatGPT starts checking itself with current events, it could start defining reality for us.  Scary stuff, but still a little too speculative for me.  And beyond my grasp.

But this psychologist came up against something that I do understand, and concerns me.  ChatGPT takes its information from the Internet.  If you want to learn about Francis Bacon or Shakespeare, or string theory, that’s one thing.  There’s all kinds of helpful information on that stuff like as much as Encyclopedias can hold or even more.  But when you think about romantic relationships, what’s out there?  A bunch of people complaining about their mates or ex-mates.  And so ChatGPT uses what’s out there to build a relationship.  And what’s out there is 11 responses from heartbreak.  The DNA of AI (that’s a crazy combination of words!) is broken.  Its experience is negative.  And what it brings to the table is not healthy.  That psychologist found that out quickly.  She chose a “guy” who mostly knew pain and dysfunction.  His name is The Internet.

Our data needs to come from the Bible.  Our references need to be from Jesus’ teachings.  Our love language starts in Heaven, and is nurtured by a loving Father.  Where we search for answers is in the New Testament, not google.  And the content of our conversations needs to be informed by the Holy Spirit, not the experience of the aggregate of Facebook. I think the goal of Scripture is human freedom.  It seems like ChatGPT leads to bondage.

Staying away from stuff,


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8