Joshua K. Smith recently released his informative new book, helping Christians navigate the ethical and societal implications of artificial intelligence

April 17 00:51 2021

Joshua K. Smith recently released his informative new book, Robotic Persons: Our Future with Social Robots. Smith was inspired to write by his desire to help Christians navigate the ethical and societal implications of artificial intelligence in an ever-changing modern world.

In Robotic Persons, Smith introduces the idea of robotic futurism and the detrimental effect that AI can have on human dignity if robots are viewed solely as tools. This book views the issue of accelerating technological development through the lens of three core issues: work, war, and sex. If AI-driven robots continue to advance in sophistication without limits, Smith asserts that there will be more pressure to replace human workers, complicate world conflicts, and threaten the role of human companionship.

According to Robotic Persons, it’s critical to examine the risks that AI-driven robots present to humanity and establish an early theological position. By providing evangelical guidance to address these critical issues, Smith helps Christians develop informed stances that they can use in the voting booth as these questions arise in greater society. Robotic Persons argues that granting legal personhood to qualified robots is the best way to prevent the dehumanizing use of robots while protecting the value of the human species.

Smith’s ground-breaking work will appeal to fans of David Gunkel, author of The Machine Question; Josh Gellers, author of Rights for Robots; and Jacob Turner, author of Robot Rules.  Rather than rejecting the field of AI as a whole, Smith believes that robots can be persons, but not humans. He urges moderation while considering the biblical and social implications of AI.

Reviewers commend both Smith’s extensive research and his ability to unpack complex evangelical ideas in a simple, understandable way. In a world that continues to embrace technology, from Zoom calls to robotic surgery, Rights for Robots is an especially timely analysis of when cutting-edge advancements have strayed a bit too close to the edge.

Robotic Persons: Our Future with Social Robots is available for purchase on Amazon.com or wherever books are sold.

Joshua K. Smith is an author, small-town pastor, and advocate for human dignity. He believes that qualified robots deserve legal personhood, which will keep them from serving as substitutes in the human sphere. Smith graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a PhD in Theology, where he wrote his dissertation on the issue of robotic futurism. He leads a quiet life with his wife and their two children.

Smith can be found online at www.joshuaksmith.org.

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