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AI and Faith Making Missional Headway on Multiple Fronts

It’s been a year since we reorganized into our current volunteer-led operating structure and several months since we have started highlighting our Projects and listing Internal and External Events on our website. Let’s take a moment to appreciate who we are now and assess what we are doing in the moment.

Who We Are

We now have over 130 experts spread across key roles of Research Fellows, Contributing Fellows and Advisors. Plus we have a growing Member community of persons who may or may not have expertise in AI ethics but want to participate meaningfully both through donations and in events opened to them alongside our experts.

What We Are Doing

Remember that our mission is to equip and encourage people of faith to bring time-tested, faith-based values and wisdom to the ethical AI conversation. We’re especially aiming our work at two audiences: tech creators and faith leaders and their congregations.

So how is that happening now?

Some of our work is one off, pursuing new and highly topical opportunities as they present themselves. Here are some examples:

  • Coding Compassion in Health Care – three of our Research Fellows are seeking grant funding to explore from multiple faith perspectives the question: How can an interreligious and interdisciplinary focus on compassion address concerns about aligning artificial intelligence (AI) with human values and flourishing? The Fellows propose that pluralist perspectives on compassion can serve as an alternative analytical frame to the notions of reason and rationality that are typically privileged in deliberations on AI/AI ethics.
  • A “Constellation of Conferences” – our Program Team and AI&F Advisors are involved in the planning stage of four conferences involving overt discussion of faith-oriented values and ethics around AI in the period April through July 2024. We are considering the conferences as a whole and seeking to promote synergistic themes and expertise that can multiply the impact of what would be otherwise isolated conference experiences. The conferences are the Missional AI Summit, in its fourth year in April 2024; a July conference on the Bible and AI at the Museum of the Bible and — adjacent to it date, location and subject matter-wise — an AI focus for the Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation in Washington DC; and a focus on AI in a conference at Fuller Theological Seminary with planning led by our Advisor Kutter Callaway next May.
  • Making the case for pluralist faith engagement at high levels of AI policy discussion and education. Our Response to the White House OSTP RFI on AI Priorities in July made a powerful statement for including faith-oriented ethical perspectives of leading computer scientists, theologians and faith leaders in senior government, academic, and industry ethical policymaking. Our AI&F experts who led the preparation of the Response are now exploring ways to further integrate AI&F experts with the working groups of the Partnership on AI, which admitted us in 2022 as their only overtly faith-oriented partner.
  • Evaluating potential new generative AI tools for faith ministry and study. Experts who are part of our Generative AI Project are researching and writing about specific requirements for training and finetuning GPT-based scriptural study tools and faith bots for exploring personal questions about faith belief and practice.
  • Foundations for Trust in AI ministry applications. Our new Partner Gloo has rolled out a groundbreaking AI Resource Wheel as part of its AI and the Church Initiative that breaks out 8 key work areas for pastoral ministry into multiple tasks and then aligns those tasks with over 50 AI-powered commercial applications. This is a terrific landscape document demonstrating the rapid growth of such applications. We’re joining with Gloo and its other nonprofit partners to discuss trust and responsible use of data as critical elements for successful uptake of such applications by faith ministries.

Other work continues to deepen understanding of faith leaders and tech creators about ethical issues posed by AI technology. Examples include:

  • Creating ongoing ethics programming for individual Faith Employee Resource Groups at major American and international technology companies, building on our three years of ethics training at the national Faith ERG Conference in Washington, DC. Just this past Sunday, Sept 24, the New York Times profiled the emergence of these Faith ERGs, recognizing the significant work of our partner Religious Freedom and Business Foundation in their formation. RFBF’s October conference in New Delhi celebrates the expansion of this Faith ERG movement into corporate locations outside the US, which broadens our ethics education opportunities as well.
  • Supporting teaching, preaching, and podcasting by faith leaders about the intersection of AI with faith belief and practice. We are seeking out and publishing examples of such teaching, reviewing books by pastors and faith-oriented authors about practical issues posed by AI technologies to faith adherents, providing sophisticated podcast interviewees for faith-oriented podcasts, and promoting discussion groups for faith leaders. Registration will open soon for our first online class for pastors on substantive issues led by our Advisor Daren Erisman, a college computer science professor and Lutheran pastor himself.
  • Enhancing dialogue between our experts by rolling out a new AI&F Mighty Networks platform for secure exchange of information and dicussion, starting with our operating teams This will deepen internal discussion and cross-fertilization of ideas and research among our experts beyond our scheduled conversations and events like our Town Halls and Salons, which are themselves soon to be available on a new AI&F podcast and opening to live participation our Members.
  • Continuing to highlight the speaking and writing of our experts and partners through our Programs and Editorial Teams, and support their work with tools created and maintained by our Media-Tech Team. Our digital Newsletter now has over 1,100 subscribers. We are especially seeking Contributing Fellows who would like to take an active role in producing and supporting conferences and programs or help build our vital digital and online tools. If interested, please contact

We’d love to hear how your personal or organizational mission overlaps ours and look for ways to mutually engage in this vital global conversation. Please make connections through the appropriate Team Leads at our Contact Page on the website, considering joining us as a Member or applying as an expert at , or reach out to .

David Brenner, AI and Faith Board Chair

David currently serves as the board chair of AI and Faith. For 35 years he practiced law in Seattle and Washington DC, primarily counseling clients and litigating claims related to technology, risk management and insurance. He is a graduate of Stanford University and UC Berkeley’s Law School.

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