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Issues AI Gets Wrong in Theology


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Common Theology Mistakes from BARD

Google Bard is a large language model that has been trained on a massive dataset. It can generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way. However, it is important to keep in mind that Bard is still under development, and it can make errors when providing information on theology.


One of the most common errors that Bard AI can make is providing inaccurate or incomplete information. This is because the dataset that it was trained on may not be as accurate as it will in future software updates. For example, if you ask AI about the history of Christianity, it may provide information that is not supported by historical evidence.


Another common error is providing biased or subjective information. This is because the dataset that it was trained on may contain those biases or opinions. For example, if you ask it about the role of women in the church, it may provide you with information that is biased against women. However, the Bible is clear on this and we cannot confuse "bias" with doctrinal truth.


AI can also make errors by simply not understanding your question. This is because the language model is still under development, and it is not always able to understand complex or nuanced questions. For example, if you ask Bard about the meaning of life, it may provide a response that is not relevant to your question.


It is important to be aware of these potential errors because in theology, either something is true or it is not. If you are unsure about the accuracy or completeness you should always do the research to either refute or verify. When Bard makes mistakes, its reputation is not harmed - can you say the same?


Here are some additional tips for using Google Bard to provide theology research:


1. Be specific in your questions. The more specific you are, the more likely AI will provide accurate information.


2. Use multiple sources. Don't rely on an AI model as your only source of information on theology. Always consult with other sources, such as books, articles, and websites, to get a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.


3. Be critical of the information provided. Just because AI provides information doesn't mean it is accurate or reliable. Always use your own judgment to evaluate the information that it provides.


In summary, Google AI, and AI models in general, will make mistakes in theology. This means any who use these language models must check the data or risk having their credibility harmed.


What if Preachers & Theologians Miss Mistakes

If Google Bard's theology mistakes are missed, it could have a number of negative consequences. For example, it could lead to people being misinformed about their faith, which could lead to them making poor decisions. Additionally, it could lead to people losing faith in general. As a Pastor, YES, many people's faith is simply not that strong. Finally, it could lead to conflict and division. A preacher stood in our church once and gave bad theology on marriage and divorce. I had to correct his issues publicly. This created tension!


Here are some tips for theologians for avoiding the negative consequences of Bard's theology mistakes:


1. Be aware of the potential for Google Bard to make mistakes. AI is pushed as more intelligent than humans but there is just one (1) glaring issue with this: AI only serves what human beings feed it!

2. Carefully evaluate the information that Google Bard provides. This should be true of any source of information but doubly so with AI. Unfortunately, this is not a strong discipline in church theology.

3. Be prepared to correct any mistakes that you find. I would sample the information to determine whether it is even worth using this version of language models. You may find the mistakes out way the benefits.


In summary, the chance for mistake prone research to happen is real. AI isn’t sufficient enough to assure 100% accuracy within any theological research. This gets much more dangerous to God’s people when a novice misses mistakes and then preaches or teaches them anyway.


Should I Use Google Search or Google AI

There are both Pros and Cons of using either Google search or Google AI (BARD).


Google Search


Pros

  • Google Search is a vast and comprehensive database of information. It can be used to find information on just about any topic imaginable.

  • Search is easy to use. Anyone can use it, regardless of their technical expertise.

  • Results are updated frequently. This means that the information that you find is always up-to-date.

Cons

  • Amount of results can be overwhelming. There is so much information available that it can be difficult to know where to start.

  • Google Search can be biased. The results that you see may be influenced by Google's own algorithms.

  • Search can sometimes serve biased and incorrect information as well. The information that you find may not be accurate or reliable.

Bard


Pros

  • Bard can quickly create content for immediate use.

  • Bard is still under development, but it is learning new things constantly. This means that it is constantly getting better at what it does.

  • AI is able to understand complex and nuanced questions. This makes it a valuable tool for answering the most difficult queries.

Cons

  • Bard is not always accurate. It can sometimes make mistakes, especially when it is asked to answer questions about complex or controversial topics. It is also overly dependent on accurate prompts.

  • It is not always reliable which brings into question its usefulness.

  • Bard is not always objective. It can sometimes be biased in its answers.

In summary, the best way to decide which tool to use is to consider your specific sermon needs and preferences. If you are looking for a comprehensive and up-to-date database of information, then Google Search is a good option. If you are looking for a powerful language model that can generate text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way, then Bard is a good option.


Header Image Courtesy of Yerson Retamal @ Pixabay

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