AI and Faith Welcomes Two New Founding Members from Islamic Academic Programs

Benaouda Bensaid is an Associate Professor in Islamic Studies and Advisor to the President of Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University in Istanbul, Turkey.  His research and teaching focus on Muslim spirituality, Islamic Ethics and Law, and Sustainable Development. Professor Bensaid has published in numerous journals and previously taught at International Islamic University Malaysia, and at Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He received his PhD in Contemporary Islamic Thought from McGill University, Canada.  Thanks to AI and Faith Board Member Salah Dandan for introducing us to Professor Bensaid.

Yaqub Chaudhary is a Research Fellow in AI, Philosophy and Theology at Cambridge Muslim College in Cambridge, England.  Dr. Chaudhary was awarded a Templeton Research Fellowship to support his research interests in the fields of AI, cognitive science and neuroscience in connection with Islamic conceptions of the mind, intelligence, human reasoning, cognition, knowledge, the nature of perception and consciousness.  He has published and spoken extensively on such issues, including a recent article in The Zygon Journal of Religion and Science on “Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, and the Re-Enchantment of the World”, and in Minds and Machines on “Delegating Religious Practices to Autonomous Machines, A Reply to ‘Prayer-Bots and Religious Worship on Twitter: A Call for a Wider Research Agenda’”.  His blog at  contains highly substantive recent writing on subjects such on “The Spectre of High Frequency Advertising and Attention Trading.”  Dr. Chaudhary holds a Masters of Engineering degree and awarded his PhD in physics by Imperial College in London.