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Cover for In Our Image

In Our Image

Artificial Intelligence and the Human Spirit (Theology and the Sciences)

Noreen L. Herzfeld


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In Our Image is the first extensive theological engagement with the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Herzfeld probes this new field, which seeks to model human intelligence in computers, for its theological depth. She argues that At the root of the fascination our current culture has with creating an image of ourselves in an intelligent computer lies a continuing problematic of defining ... what it means to be truly human. She shows how AI continues the classic Christian quest for defining the image of God in humans.

Offering a smart, accessible history and typology of research in AI, Herzfeld shows how its rival schools parallel competing options in the theological anthropologies of Niebuhr, von Rad, and Barth. She probes our interest in AI and argues that a relational anthropology informs the best research and the many depictions of AI in science fiction and film. Herzfeld's exciting work further develops this relational model, in which she finds a needed corrective to the individualistic and narcissistic tendencies of much recent spirituality and the seeds of a human/computer ethic.

Augsburg Fortress Publishing, 9780800634766, 148pp.

Publication Date: September 5, 2000