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Action Command Outcome (ACO) Theological Framework

One of the goals of this research was to develop a framework to address the challenges raised by AI. I decided to focus on God's attributes as addressing challenges with AI requires a strong foundation based on the creator God's understating from a Christian perspective. After providing all the information and raising awareness about AI, it was essential to have a framework to be used beyond this project in the future. There is a lack of awareness among Christian ministers about AI, and there are many questions raised by people as there is broad adoption of new technology. The questions have to be answered from a biblical viewpoint. 

Therefore, I developed a framework and named it as "Action Command Outcome" (ACO) Theological Framework to evaluate different issues. It was not adapted from any other available frameworks. I had heard about the concept of different types of actions that humans can take. When discussing this research project with my thesis advisor, the concept of good and evil outcomes was evaluated. The ACO framework results from my evaluation of different AI challenges and based on the data collected during the research interviews.




 

This framework starts with the action in question. The action is validated against the commandments found in the Bible, which could be explicit or implicit. The action is then evaluated to check if it is essential, desirable, tolerable, or forbidden. Based on where it falls, it tells the outcome of the action based on what the Bible commands. Following is an example of the ACO Theological Framework:

Table1: ACO Theological Framework Example

Actions

Command

Outcome

 

Explicit

Implicit

 

Essential

Love (1 John 3:11)

Help an online friend. (1 John 3:11)

Very Good

Desirable

Support Missionaries (1 Cor. 16:1-3)

Sharing words of encouragement on social media (1 Thess. 5:11)

Good

Tolerable

Wasting time not doing anything. (Eph. 5:16)

Spending much time watching Television (Eph. 5:16)

Not Good

Forbidden

Adultery (Matt. 5:27-28)

Watching Porn (Matt. 5:27-28)

Evil

 

The above table has actions that are mapped against the action type under the type of command. The Bible references are also added along with the action to be validated. The actions under explicit command are the ones directly found in the Bible. Some of the commandments may be essential, while others fall in a forbidden area, and others fall in the middle. When an action is not mentioned in the Bible directly, it is added under implicit commands. Helping an online friend, posting encouragement online, watching television, and watching porn is not directly referenced in the Bible. There are Bible verses that implicitly deal with the action. Biblical exegetical and hermeneutical skills are required to use this framework correctly.

ACO Theological Framework - Issues Raised by AI

AI is not referenced directly in the Bible. During the research interview, one respondent shared how he thought that AI robots are referenced directly in the Bible. I did not find any explicit references to AI in the Bible. Below is an example of how some of the issues related to AI are mapped in the ACO Theological Framework.

Table 31: ACO Theological Framework - AI Issues.

Actions

Command

Outcome

 

Explicit

Implicit

 

Essential

 

Use of AI in a child rescue operation (Ps. 82:3-4)

Very Good

Desirable

 

AI in cancer detection (1 Tim. 5:23)

Good

Tolerable

 

·        AI-generated sermons (2 Tim. 4:1-2)

·        AI in Warfare (Matt. 5:44)

Not Good

Forbidden

 

·        AI Sex Robots (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 5:27-30)

·        AI granted status similar to humans (Gen. 1:26-28)

·        Worship of AI (Ex. 20:3-5)

·        AI used for deceiving people (Prov. 6:16-19)

Evil

 

I have selected eight actions or topics related to AI and mapped them in ACO Theological Framework. All the actions were mapped under implicit commands. The supporting Bible verses are also provided. Some of the issues can be mapped against more than one action depending on how the how a Bible verse was interpreted. The data from the research interviews were used to complete the ACO framework for issues related to AI. The responses from ministry leaders and pastors were used as the basis to come to conclusions, along with the study undertaken by me on these topics. The good use of AI was seen as beneficial by many respondents. The use of AI sex robots, AI granted a status similar to humans, and any worship of AI was stated as evil by many respondents, especially by those who profess faith in God.

The ACO framework can be used as a tool when dealing with ethical and moral issues related to AI. It can be presented as a tool when teaching college students and adults about faith, religion, morality, ethics, and technology. I am confident that this framework can be used for other topics also. This framework can also be used as an evangelism tool to have a more in-depth conversation and can be started with general moral standards of different nations and cultures. I envision drawing a parallel between moral laws followed by humanity and the moral laws found in the Bible using this framework. Using the ACO framework can lead to meaningful conversation and will provide witnessing opportunities.

The ACO framework does not provide any specific guidance to AI's concerns and is not designed to get to the details of one issue and provide advice. There are many concerns related to self-driving cars that the interviewees raised. Self-driving cars themselves may fall in the desirable and good category, but there are concerns about self-driving cars that are not considered by the framework. A topic that was discussed during interviews was about self-driving cars killing humans. That is a serious concern, but that itself does not make self-driving cars evil unless there is data that show many accidents caused by these cars. A research project can be done to deal with different issues connected to a concern with AI and come up with guidance, along with the outcomes provided by the ACO framework.

 

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