An artificial intelligence led worship inside a church in Germany, attended by hundreds of people.
The worship was also attended by a virtual avatar delivering sermons written by Chat GPT.
The 40-minute service at St Paul’s Church in Firth drew mixed reactions from the Protestant congregation, with the avatar occasionally causing unintentional laughter, according to the Associated Press. become
Some church members refused to speak while the Lord’s Prayer was recited by the digital avatar.
Hedrose Schmidt, a 54-year-old IT worker who attended the service, said: ‘There was no life and no soul in it.’
He said, ‘These avatars had no emotions, no body language and they were talking so fast that it was very difficult for me to focus on what they were saying. But maybe it’s different for the younger generation who have grown up with all that.’
Lutheran pastor Mark Jensen was more impressed by artificial intelligence and said he had ‘imagined worse’ as it was.
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‘I was positively surprised at how well it worked,’ he said. Also, the artificial intelligence language worked well, although it still had a bit of hiccups at times.’
The AI opened the service by saying: ‘Dear friends, it is my honor to be here and to preach to you this year as the first AI at the Protestant Convention in Germany.’
It spoke of forgetting the past and always trusting in Jesus, while urging attendees to overcome their fear of death.
More than 300 people attended the service organized by Jonas Summerlin, a 29-year-old theologian from the University of Vienna.
Jonas Summerlin instructed Chat GPT to include psalms, prayers, and even a blessing. He said the experiment was designed to show how religious leaders could use artificial intelligence to help them in their work.
“Artificial intelligence will quickly take over all aspects of our lives, so it will be useful to learn how to deal with it,” he said. Artificial intelligence will not be able to replace the role of the priest in communicating with the local community.’
‘The priest is in the congregation, he lives with them, he buries people, he knows them from the beginning. Artificial intelligence cannot do that. She does not know those who participate in worship.’