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Assumed and Assimilated

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2022 1:11 am

Assumed and Assimilated

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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May 22, 2022 1:11 am

This week in our series, “Discipled by Algorithms”, Bernie Dake and Jason Thacker discuss how quickly we, as a society, have adopted new technologies. In this episode, Jason encourages us to pause and study how new tech may impact our lives. Rather than simply handing our kids new tablets and phones, let’s slow down and teach our kids healthy habits when it comes to technology.


Series: Discipled by Algorithms


I really welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life will come back towards what I'm doing and I'm Cheryl Gillam we're now in our third episode of the series discipled by algorithms. This is a series of conversations I had with a guy named Jason Thacker. He's a professor, author and expert in the field of technology and ethics. If you've missed any of these episodes and want to learn more about Jason visit Salvation Army's this week. Jason discusses how we as a society have begun adapting technology so quickly that we failed apologize and ask how they may impact us negatively while yet so full disclosure doing the interview with Jason. When our producer was telling me about. I was a little nervous. I didn't actually understand the whole idea of algorithms and then the idea of how connected we are is a whole other level. So a great example is and he talked about his children and how these devices in the home or like the Apple Watch or devices that we used to remind us to stand up for get a walk-in or a your your email is vibrating.

Your wrist every time there's a new email.

Crazy how connected we are and how these different apps can can connect to all of this as well right and take it you're just not even think about it anymore right and that can be problematic with it and they learn your browsing preferences shopping, preference answer with the things that you're just looking at reading habits or you know if the algorithms of your life right had ever just said something about a certain product and then you go on a certain site and all of a sudden you see ads that kind of thing that's crazy. Yeah, we know that you will enjoy this episode. If you are interested whatsoever in technology and how you can use it for evangelism. This is the series for you know you will be back to words of life. I am Bernie Dakin were with Jason Thacker, the author of the age of AI Jason, welcome back. Thank you for having we are recording these episodes because our producer read the article that you wrote and it just made his mind go spinning into these different ideas were so that you're here if you listen to the previous episodes you know already that the conversation really revolves around technology and the. The idea of artificial intelligence and can we redeem that and all were doing deep dives into all this stuff, which is one of Jason's specialties. Today we want to talk about you know technology being assumed and assimilated to be honest for our listeners. I've always tried to be transparent.

Even those two words together with with technology.

I'm not sure I understand what the statement is so you say in the book technology is often assumed and assimilated rather than questioned and examined help to understand the enemy we live in a technological society in the digital age. Everything about our lives in some sense has been and is incorporated with technology.

Now whether it's our coffee makers to our thermostats to our cars during devices that are on us, and often we can have this bent toward if there's a problem there must be a technology there must be an app for that. The old Apple a phrase that there is not for that and the idea is that when we see problems in society, we just naturally think there has to be a technical solution for it and what I mean by the statement of that we often assume assimilated is that we just assume technologies all around us all times and we just assimilated. We, meaning we bring into our lives, we don't question it. We don't ask the hard questions.

We don't say no. Not just can we, but should we, which is really the question of ethics is should we do something, should we use this technology.

Should I give this device to my children. Should I buy this new type of technology or this new experience.

And that's the question. It is Christians. I think we need to slow down a little bit in this and age that prioritizes speed and efficiency going faster better stronger and say is this really the best thing for me, it may wear Bambi they may be a very good application. A good tool that we should use but I think one of the ways that we can cultivate wisdom especially is a virtue in today society is to slow down a little bit whether that's misinformation online and just assuming whatever I read online has to be true to slow down and verify to check sources not just to share something without reading and removing that's a whole conversation we can have just about misinformation and accuracy theories even goes into other technologies is just because we can do something doesn't doesn't mean we should. And that's what I mean is slowing down asking those hard questions and questioning these technologies about what are they, what are they doing to us how are they forming shaping us like we talked on previous Epson note that for listeners who are just getting to know who you are. We've had the privilege of sitting around the table over lunch or just kinda learning more about. He chose family and you said something about your father.

That was kind of interesting related to technology. I don't want to put you on the spot other than to say you mentioned that your dad was an amputee and there is technology that exists that could make his life better but is is it worth it could kind of name that idea for listeners so I think especially in terms of medical technologies we have wonders that we never thought were possible, whether it's overcoming cancer.

Whether it's being able to restore something that someone lost.

Whether it's movement or hearing or highside or what have you is that technology can be use and really God honoring glorifying nice to restore the uses of things. The brokenness of our world and the sickness and death that we see around us not to ultimately overcome death.

We know that, but to help us kinda navigate a lot of these challenges better. And so, a few years ago he was diagnosed with a condition where they had to amputate his leg and when they did that mean he now has a prostatic and he's able to walk again and there even new technologies really on the horizon of being able to have robotic limbs and that sounds crazy, sci-fi, Star Wars, Luke and his hand is like that that stuff is not just of sci-fi reality, sci-fi story in many ways is becoming a reality right there still prohibitively expensive for most people but to be able to restore that type of use and these can be good ways to be able to use technology within the question becomes, should we just upgrade ourselves. We were just essentially machines and this is kind of in many ways, where our culture, by and large, believe naturalistic core tier realistic type of understanding is that there's nothing unique and special about what it means to be human especially is created in God's image, which I talk a lot about in the book, framing up what is it mean to be human. And that's really where you get in some of these really interesting questions, especially in ethics about the nature of technology what it's doing what to us what it should. How it shaping informing us and not only how we view other people. But even what is it mean to be human. What had we view ourselves and so I think there's a God honoring uses of these technologies like being able to have robotic limb to be able to restore something that was lost, but the time that we think we need to upgrade ourselves as if we need to become superhumans arrived home like God. That's when you start to get into some really thorny ethical situations that I think need a lot of wisdom nuance and care absolutely no Jason's talking about his book the age of AI. I wonder did you bring some extra books we could give to her listeners if they were to call in her right in the house with her thinking about these episode out to be a happy devious books I'm going to make a promise to the first listener that writes in about this episode were going to send you a signed copy of Jason's book so you can check it out on your own time. Jason sometimes we make a joke. Well, I read it online. You must be true you know if it's on the Internet. It's true, I'm not sure young people even know what a library is anymore because we've got Google and cerium things that are out there that help us just find the answers to all of life's questions asked if you could come to help us.

How can we approach that daily in a healthy way was we talked about technologies forming in shaping us as we said in previous episode it's discipling us and what I mean by that is it shaping how we view not only God ourselves can be the nature of truth right we see something online we just assume it must be true especially if it confirms some of the biases we arty have corset it aligns with our political and ideological kind of understandings of the world and so we just assume it's true. Just because it's online. And while we might make jokes about that will obviously not everything on the Internet true it's it's interesting the way the social media shapes how we view what's reality what truth I'm in a story can go viral at we can have thousands and thousands and thousands of tweets or article can be shared numerous times.

That's completely false. It's complete. It's a false narrative. It's fake news it's a conspiracy theory and so by this point by using that language, we naturally have emotions, vote from some listeners of let you know fake news and things like that reality we live in a misinformation age some sense is that the things that we see online are not always true. Sometimes there intentionally meant distorted.

Sometimes they are unintentionally where there's lack of context for something right and that gets back to that question. We talked about where technology causes to go faster, better and stronger. But sometimes, speed is, and always wisdom is and always care. It always it is always nuance are full of contacts and suggest because we see something in our newsfeed and me. We seem technology companies recently start to introduce these things where you try to retweet something and it says do you want read the article 1st or something. Hey hey once you read this arena. Let's provide some more context and you know is it full proof now while but it's what his doings is causing us to slow down. It's adding a little friction sure to save maybe what you're about to share isn't true and think, especially coming from a place of faith in place specifically within the Christian tradition is that we value truth because Jesus is the way the truth and life is that we we believe that our understanding of the world is reality, it's true that the God of this, God created everything and that he created in a very particular way in a natural order and so that's one of things that we don't propagate falsities conspiracy theories misinformation because where people of the truth even when the truth may be inconvenient for our beliefs and so that's one of things I think we need to slow down a little bit in this age is causing us to go faster faster faster is to slow down and say you know what is it what is it mean to verify our sources to check to see if this is true or you know, to just slow down and say you know I don't have to have a comment on it right now.

I think one of the magic three words that we can learn as a society is I don't know I don't have to have an opinion on every single cultural social issue. I'm simply not competent for that. I have certain training I'm not able to talk about medicine you know for certain sciences and things like that because I'm in ethicist right and that's okay is understanding our limitations being humble about what we do know and what we don't know and what we just simply don't know yet what we can learn and so I think that kind of cultivating humility is one of the best practices we can really Inculcate as a culture is to slow down asked the hard questions and to be humble about how we approach other people. I want to add to. I think as Christian people we have an unethical and immoral responsibility to be the truth and the life that we we see in the pages of the Bible that also is a great book to read and hear words of life. Jason, as you would appreciate the kindred spirit that that to us as the guidebook for life. Now if you want to add to your reading outside the Bible. Jason's got a great book called the age of AI.

It's available anywhere you buy your books. There is an audiobook available for those of you that don't consume by reading anymore and that's okay.

We just hope that you are encouraged by this conversation and we pray that you join us next week on words of like the Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs to become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army to offer your support and love to hear from you. Email us radio USS.Salvation Call 1-800-229-9965, write us at PO Box 29972, Atlanta, GA 30359 tell us how we can help share prayer request or share your testimony.

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