Are you a bot?

It is hard to read the news and not hear something about the advancements and impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on our world. The most ubiquitous application for AI in many of our lives is the ever-present chatbot. The box in the corner of so many websites offering to help answer your questions.

Many of these chatbots are built to answer the most common questions an organization receives and leverage technology to minimize the number of live conversations they need to staff for and have. This growing trend has led more and more guests of the ministry to ask our Responders if they are a bot or AI. This tendency is not surprising, but it would be truly sad if we left the most important conversation in someone’s life to scripted answers from a computer.

We believe AI has a place in online evangelism, but it should not be utilized for the live conversation with someone seeking answers and struggling to know, trust and obey Jesus. Many people come online seeking answers but what they find most helpful is human interaction and connection. Guests may debate different religions or interpretations, but they don’t typically do that with someone’s experience or story. To ignore their story and try to answer questions that will determine where they spend eternity without a caring Christian on the other end would be tragic.

Our almost three decades of evangelism experience have taught us that live conversation is best between two people created in God’s image connecting at a deeper level. AI has no soul, no testimony, and does not connect in the way that two people designed for relationship can come together. True bridges of faith are built through real connection and shared stories.

The recent news of AI hallucinating and making things up has been troublesome. The cases where it has responded with claims of having feelings and knowing what is best for humanity are even more disturbing. We are deeply grateful that we have faithful Responders that allow us to always meet a seeker with a loving, caring believer who can show empathy, build trust, and share the Good News from personal experience.