Early in the summer of 2023, robots projected on a screen delivered sermons to about 300 congregants at St. Paul's Church in Bavaria, Germany. Created by ChatGPT and Jonas Simmerlein, a theologian and philosopher from the University of Vienna, the experimental church service drew immense interest.
The deadpan sermon delivery prompted many to doubt whether AI can really displace priests and pastoral instruction. At the end of the service, an attendee remarked, "There was no heart and no soul."
But the growing use of AI may prompt more churches to debut AI-generated worship services. A church in Austin, Texas, for example, has put a banner out advertising a service with an AI-generated sermon. The church worship will also include an AI-generated call to worship and pastoral prayer. Yet this use of AI has prompted concerns, as these technologies are believed to disrupt authentic human ...
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