Over 300 individuals in Germany participated in a church service that was entirely generated by artificial intelligence (AI). The service, lasting approximately forty minutes, was led by the chatbot ChatGPT, which facilitated sermons, prayers and blessings. The idea for this event, which took place at St. Paul’s church in the Bavarian town of Fuerth, was developed by Jonas Simmerlein (29), a philosopher and theologian from the University of Vienna. In an interview, Simmerlein explained that while he came up with the idea, approximately 98 percent of the service content was generated by artificial intelligence. During the service, four avatars, consisting of two women and two men, delivered sermons on various themes and emphasized the importance of maintaining trust in Jesus Christ.
Premier Christian News reports:
It’s being reported that more than 300 people in Germany have attended a church service that was generated entirely by artificial intelligence (AI).
The chatbot ChatGPT led a service for around forty minutes with prayer, sermons and blessings.
The service at St. Paul’s church in the Bavarian town of Fuerth, was created by Jonas Simmerlein, a 29 year old theologian and philosopher from the University of Vienna. He told the Associated Press that while it was his idea, 98 per cent of the service “comes from the machine. I told the artificial intelligence ‘We are at the church congress, you are a preacher … what would a church service look like?’
“You end up with a pretty solid church service.”
Four avatars – two women and two men – led the service on a screen. The avatars preached about leaving the past behind, focusing on the challenges of the present, overcoming fear of death, and never losing trust in Jesus Christ.
The AI church service was one of hundreds of events at a convention of Lutheran Protestants in Bavaria.
One of those attending the service, 54 year old Heiderose Schmidt said :“There was no heart and no soul. The avatars showed no emotions at all, had no body language and were talking so fast and monotonously that it was very hard for me to concentrate on what they said.
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