Tim Dustin of Global Christian Relief writes that artificial intelligence in China threatens to stifle that nation’s Christian minority. While AI is already a tool to censor information, the rise of programs like Chat GPT makes it possible to give an automatic, targeted response to certain questions.
It is likely that a Chinese version of Chat GPT will come into existence under limitations imposed by the government. While Christianity is legal in China, religious activity is often restricted in practice.
Questions like, “Where can I go on Sunday morning,” would most likely not be answered with, “Go to church.” Similarly, manipulated answers to “Where should I go to church” or “Should I attend church” would leave out information or mislead individuals with responses such as “We don’t recommend attending church.”
Particularly in China, Christians are recognizing AI’s potential to perpetrate future human rights abuses, misusing it to direct citizens about what to do, along with its government leaving out specific information, especially in regard to Christianity.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom reported in December 2022 that, “Religious freedom conditions in China continue to deteriorate. The communist Chinese government has created a high-tech surveillance state, utilizing facial recognition and artificial intelligence to monitor and harass Christians, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong and other religions.”
The Chinese government is already using AI to actively increase its persecution of populations it labels “not Chinese enough,” including Christians. A few years ago, China initiated a social credit system monitoring all Chinese citizens by using closed-circuit cameras, phone apps and purchases. The information collected is used to create social-credit-scores, which rank each individual on their “citizen worthiness.”
As well, China’s “Becoming Family” program sends spies out to live with families to report everything they observe as contrary to the government’s prescribed ideas. When “suspicious” activity is reported, parents are duly shipped off to “re-education camps” and their children sent to boarding schools for Chinese indoctrination.