In light of the coming revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence, this discussion paper looks to examine some current trends in robotics and artificial intelligence and the social implications of these trends.
The increasing prevalence of news stories on these topics is bringing many of the issues surrounding AI and robotics to the forefront of the public imagination. From the ethics of military drones, to the moral obligations of robots, to AI as a global catastrophic risk (threatening human extinction), there are a number of interesting and important questions arising which require the attention of Christian researchers. Due to limited space, this briefing will focus on two major issues; firstly it will cover key trends in AI development (namely, the speed, scale and potential capabilities of these new technologies) and secondly, the implications of these trends for work, inequality and social isolation. The aim is that this research briefing will provide a helpful starting point for those looking to understand the issue, whilst also prompting further research and discussion from a Christian perspective, in order to better prepare for the changes to come.