Digital Curriculum for Faith Congregations Launched

Founding Members Michael Paulus of Seattle Pacific University and Nathan Colaner of Seattle University’s Initiative for Ethics and Transformational Technology lead Class 1 in AI&F’s Digital Curriculum “AI: What’s Faith Got to Do With It?” in a live Zoom call with several dozen participants through partner congregation University Presbyterian Church of Seattle on Sunday afternoon, August 2. The format was a half hour PowerPoint illustrated description by Nathan and Michael of the basics of AI and ethical foundations in faith, and how AI is being applied in myriad ways to combat the current COVID19 pandemic, followed by a 10 minute video in which AI&F Founding Member faith leaders Pastor Dani Forbus, Rabbi Daniel Weiner, and Islamic lay leader Meenaz Merchant of Microsoft Search Research explained their interest, and then discussion in breakout rooms.

The response was very positive, with appreciation especially expressed for the illustration of pandemic applications, the complementary nature of faith interest across religions, and opportunity for small group discussion. Nathan and Michael will use the feedback in completing the curriculum for Classes 2 through 4 with the goal of eventually producing a product that any congregation can access and work their way through. Classes 2 through 4 concern human dignity, human and robot agency, and future outcomes.

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